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So Who Had the Amazing Idea to Invent Tights Anyway?

You might be surprised to hear that tights were invented by a man, Allen Grant. Sr., in 1959. But you won't be surprised to hear that he did so at the request of his wife!  They are too good not to have been a woman's idea. Let's be honest, men would have kept us suffering in garters (and school girl uniforms if they had theiri own way!) According to the Smithsonian and Allen Grant Jr., the inventor's son, it all started when Grant and his wife, Ethel Boone Grant, were on an overnight train returning home from the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City. Ethel was pregnant at the time and was finding it difficult to manage her stockings and garter belt over her expanding belly. As a proper lady wouldn't be seen in public without her hosiery (obvi), she informed her husband that this would be her last trip with him until their child was born. Tell him Ethel!

Grant gave that some thought and asked Ethel what she thought of a pair of underwear with stockings attached to them, which would avoid the hassle of a garter belt. Ethel thought it was a great idea and stitched together a rough sample that Grant took to his office as he was running Glen Raven Mills Textile Company at the time. With the help of his colleagues, he developed what they called "Panti-Legs" and launched the product in department stores. 

But, it wasn't until the mid-1960s when the mini skirt was the new "in" thing to wear and garters actually couldn't be worn with them that the concept took off. Sales of pantyhose sky rocketed as fashion forward women wanted a pair of their own. We like that Ethel! 

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