Mary Phelps Jacob was born on January 30, 1891 in New Rochelle, New York. She was a poet, activist and a New York socialite. She came from a wealthy family who spent their time at several different estates that they owned.
In 1910 she invented the brassiere because she was unhappy with her only option of wearing a corset underneath her sheer debut gown. Her first brassiere was made out of two silk handkerchiefs, pink ribbon, and cord. It was patented in 1914, but she eventually sold the patent to a corset making company. This bra was actually not flattering at all, nor did it offer any real support, but it was flatter and offered women more options for undergarments.