Oldest bra: 600-year-old linen bra sets world record (VIDEO) Lemberg Castle, Austria -- Four linen bras from the 15th century have been found during renovation of Lemberg Castle in Austria's East Tyrol, indicating that the female undergarment was in use almost 500 years earlier than traditionally believed and setting the new world record for the Oldest bra,
according to World Record Academy: www.worldrecordacademy.com/.
Photo: The world's oldest bra was found in Lemberg Castle, Austria. Photo: B. Nutz / AP Photo/ University Innsbruck Archeological Institute
The Guinness world record for the longest bra chain consisted of 166,625 bras, measured 163.77 km (101.7 miles) and was created by Citizens Who Care group, (Australia) at the Bundaberg Show Grounds, Australia.
Guinness World Records also recognized the world record for the largest bra; it measured 26.72 m (87 ft 7.97 in) on the underbust and had a bust measurement of 29.6 m (97 ft 1.35 in). It was achieved by Reckitt Benckiser (UK) in London, UK.
The world's oldest bras were found during renovation of Lemberg Castle in Austria's East Tyrol in 2008, but only recently came to the public's attention, Beatrix Nutz, the University of Innstruck archaeologist responsible for the discovery, the Associated Press reports.
Until now, the university says, there has been nothing to indicate the existence of bras with clearly visible cups before the 19th century.
"Medieval written sources are rather vague on the topic of female breast support, sometimes mentioning 'bags for the breasts' or 'shirts with bags'," Nutz says in a statement on the university's website.
"Other sources only mention breast-bands to bind down oversized breasts."
One of the Austrian specimens in particular "looks exactly like a (modern) brassiere," Hilary Davidson, fashion curator for the London Museum, tells the AP. "These are amazing finds."
The university says the four bras were among more than 2,700 textile fragments found in a vault on the second floor of the castle.
One in particular looks especially modern, Nutz says, describing it as having "two broad shoulder straps and a possible back strap, not preserved but indicated by partially torn edges of the cups onto which it was attached."
The lingerie, the AP notes, was apparently not just functional: The bras were intricately decorated with lace and other ornamentation, suggesting they were also meant to please a suitor.
Up to now there was nothing to indicate the existence of bras with clearly visible cups before the 19th century.
Medieval written sources are rather vague on the topic of female breast support, sometimes mentioning "bags for the breasts" or "shirts with bags".
Other sources only mention breast-bands to bind down oversized breasts.
As no comparable archaeological textiles of medieval "bras" were to be found, fiber samples of two bras were sent to the ETH (Eidgenössissche Technische Hochschule = Swiss Federal Institute of Technology) in Zürich to be Carbon-14 dated.