|Vintage jockstrap image, circa 1940.
courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
The picture you see here is one of the oldest known photos of jockstraps in use, showing a jockstrapped bodybuilder circa 1940.
Jockstrap Central’s page references the invention of the jockstrap – or “jockey strap” as it was called – in 1874. In 1897, the jockstrap’s inventor, Charles Bennett, began to mass market the jockstrap through the newly-formed Bike Web Company. Bike Web Company is the well-known and beloved jockstrap manufacturer known today simply as BIKE, which is now owned by the Russell Athletic Company.
A bit of related trivia…
True or false…Is BIKE still the market leader in sales of jockstraps worldwide? According to Wikipedia, the answer is true (there is no supporting citation for the article’s statement, however).
Another article I found stated (again, without supporting reference) that, as of November 2005, BIKE made its 350,000,000th jockstrap, which is on display at the company’s Atlanta headquarters. Whether that qualifies BIKE as the market leader or not, it is pretty impressive!
Below are some more interesting, vintage images related to jockstraps, juxtaposed with modern-day examples. The basic style may be similar, in some cases almost unchanged, but there’s still no denying that we’ve come a long way, men. from a device once thought to be in the nature of a “medical garment” kind of the way people think of support hose. Not any more!