In 1864, Eleanor Marshall was granted Patent No. 43,321
for her "mammiform breast-protectors." From her patent:
Be it known that I, E.M. Marshall, of Hillsdale, Columbia county, in the State of New York, have invented, made, and applied to use a new and improved article for ladies' wear, which I term a "Mammiform and Protector"...
My improved mammiform and protector is formed of wire wound upon these formers, forming two springs, AA, connected together as shown, and being as similar as possible to the natural breasts. These springs AA may be separated and used singly when desired...
My improved mammiform and protector, being thus constructed, will be found to possess the following advantages: light, flexible, and covering the natural breasts without depressing them, and serving to protect them, and yet the springs of my mammiform and protector may be pressed together or onto the natural breasts, or in any other direction, and when relieved from such pressure resume their natural position and save the wearer the relaxing and debilitating effects of pads, answering all the purposes of a protector, and always presenting a natural appearance.
With springs like that, if a woman accidentally fell forward she'd bounce right back up.
Category: Patents | Underwear | Nineteenth Century