Dr. Elena Bodnar‘s 2009 Ig Nobel Prize-winning Emergency Bra may be the most spectacular and fashionable instance of brassiere design and protective-face-mask design intersecting. But it is not the first.
The 3M company’s N95 mask grew from an-early-1960s bra-cup design by Sara Little Turnbull, according to reports (“How One Woman Inspired The Design For The N95 Mask” and “N95“) by National Public Radio. (Thanks to Dominick Dunlop for bringing this to our attention.)
Here’s video of Dr. Bodnar giving the first public demonstration (assisted by Nobel laureates Wolfgang Ketterle, Orhan Pamuk, and Paul Krugman) of her invention, at the Ig Nobel Prize ceremony at Harvard University:
Here is some technical detail from Dr. Bodnar’s patent: