Ida Kaganovich Rosenthal
Ida and William Rosenthal Ida Kaganovich Rosenthal was born in Minsk, Tsarist Russia in 1886. She immigrated to America in 1904 and worked a seamstress in Hoboken, New Jersey. In 1907, she married William Rosenthal and the couple set up shop making dresses. Ida was responsible for the financial side and William took charge of design and making the outfits. The couple were very successful and by the 1920s they were able to open a dress shop with their friend Enid Bisset in Manhattan. Ida and Enid quickly found that some sort of undergarment had to be invented so the dresses they made would fit better across women's chests. Ida designed a foundation garment that improved the appearance and fit of the dresses she made. Women were soon demanding to buy the foundation garment by itself. The Rosenthals and Enid Bisset formed the Enid Manufacturing company in 1925 to make brassieres known as Maidenform brassieres. They changed tne name of the company to the Maidenform Company eventually as sales grew and the brassiere came into wider usage. William developed the idea of sizing the brassieres by cup size and his 1926 patent became the prototype of the modern support bra. In 1942, Ida Rosenthal patented the fastener that allowed for the adjustment of the bra straps--a feature that has become standard for brassieres.
The slogans adopted by the Maidenfrom company--"I dreamed I was . . in my Maidenform bra" was so popular that it ran for over twenty years. Ida Rosenthal became CEO of the Maidenform company when William died in 1958. She died in 1973 at the age of 87.
Vesta Roman Goddess of the Hearth
Patently Female by Ethlie Ann Vare and Greg Ptacek (John Wiley, 2002) p. 136-138.
Web SitesIda Rosenthal
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