06 January 2007

The sad tale of Otto Titzling

Commemorated in popular song, trivia, the story of Otto Titzling is a tragic tale of invention and theft....

Titzling, was a German immigrant living in New York City in 1912. It was while employed at a factory making women's undergarments that he met an aspiring opera singer named Swanhilda Olafsen. Miss Olafsen, was a large woman who complained to Titzling that her corsets were not only uncomfortable to wear but failed to provide adequate support.

With the help of his assistant, Hans Delving, he invented a new kind of undergarment the chest halter which proved to be a commercial success. However Titzling neglected to take out a patent.

French-born fashion designer Philippe de Brassiere stole Titzling's designs and started manufacturing competing products in the early 1930s. Titzling sued de Brassiere for patent infringement. In a court battle the two men fought to prove ownership of the concept. In the end Titzling lost the case and died penniless and unappreciated. This is why nobody buys a titsling

It’s a pity that the story was inventied by Canadian author Wallace Reyburn for his book The Uplifting Tale of Otto Titzling and the Development of the Bra. … Still Bette Midler got a song out of it and why pass up on the chance to raid Youtube Enjoy!

Source: About Urban Legends


Anonymous said...

I remember hearing a similar story in the mid 1980s. When does Wallace Reyburn's book date from?

elasticwaistbandlady said...

Brassieres are the evilest of mans inventions. I'm declaring this my "Braless Jubilee Year" just to spite the system.

Even though these musings are polar opposite politically from me, I stumbled on this link and the amusing title caught my eye before feeling horrified at the story. I'd thought it would tickle your pickle, jams. Living Dead?

Frank Partisan said...

Really cool post. Actually a sad story.

Steve Bates said...

jams, there's a small plate-book out there called "Brahaus" that you and the not-wife might enjoy. Stella has a copy somewhere; if only I could find it, I'd be more specific. (Google is no help; it turns up all kinds of references to Bauhaus, Brathaus, Brauhaus etc.) The bras in that book are truly... architectural!

jams o donnell said...

It was in 1972 Roger so the story has been around for a while.

Free the Houston Two ewbl? the not wife prefers not to wear them when she doesn't have to. I suppose things could be worse though I can only imagine that the bras of the 50s were even worse.. and they could put eyes out too.

I must admit I would like it toi have been true ren, but at least there are plenty of strange true stories out there.. which I will plunder for blog fodder!

Wow I love the idea of that book Steve. It sounds like the sort ofthing that would make us chuckle indeed

jams o donnell said...

Going back to your post ewbl, that was one stupid balls up. It wasn't done maliciously, I;m sure but it will have caused distress.