Roll Over Image to Zoom ‹ Back to Collection

Wear-Test Nylon Brassiere

  • ca. 1937
  • Manufactured by E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Company
  • 14 in. W x 10.25 in. D
  • On display in Making Modernity
  • Gift of Joseph X. Labovsky
  • The Joseph X. Labovsky Collection
  • 2004.543.193


Before DuPont marketers coined the term nylon, it was known as “Fiber 66.” Strong and lightweight, nylon held its shape through long use and multiple washings. And unlike the traditional bra materials of cotton and rayon, nylon never needed to be ironed.

Nylon, developed in the late 1930s by a team headed by Wallace Carothers at E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Company, was the first totally synthetic fiber. Developed as a replacement for natural silk, nylon is a simple monomer-chain polymer created by polymerizing a polyamide in a salt mixture.

Search Our Online Collections


Distillations Podcast logo
Listen to the latest episodes of CHF’s award-winning podcast.

Support CHF

Help us preserve and share the history of chemistry and related sciences. Make a tax-deductible tax-deductible gift online.