On January 19, 1935, Coopers Inc, later to become Jockey International, sold the first pair of men’s briefs.
Coopers Inc was founded by Samuel T. Cooper in 1876 as a hosiery business.
Cooper, being the kind hearted man he was, began the business UPon discovering that lumberjacks were suffering from shoddy wool socks.
With all that lumberjack money coming in, around 1900, Cooper branched out into undergarments.
Things went well until the Great Depression, and by 1934 Coopers Inc. was ready to file for bankruptcy
Coopers called on Harry H. Wolf, Sr. to “restructure” the company and on January 19, 1935, during a blizzard no less, Marshall Fields’ State Street store in Chicago sold the first pair.
An apparel engineer named Arthur Kneibler designed the briefs, chopping off the leg sections and adding a Y shaped overlapping fly.
Coopers called them the Jockey because they offered support which had only been available in an athletic supporter.
They took off like a rocket.
30,000 pairs were sold in three months!
And a few months later, when they were introduced in the UK, they sold at a rate of 3000 per week!
In 1938, Wolf, renaming the company, Jockey, sent its corporate plane, the Mascul-liner – and no, I didn’t make that UP – to make deliveries of masculine support briefs to retailers across the country!
So, no matter what you wear, celebrate an innovation in men’s fashion – hail to the tighty whitey!