Like many other Olympic sports, swimming is transcended by a few star athletes. These famed Olympians include Mark Spitz, Ian Thorpe, and most recently Michael Phelps. Most of us can’t remember their events or times, but they certainly have cemented their place in sports history. But unique to the sport of swimming is the uniform, or rather lack there of, which creates a particularly interesting retrospection into the uniform history.
As swimming lore would have it, the first competitive swimsuit commercially produced was created in 1913 by Jantzen Knitting Mills. Made of wool and weighing nine pounds, it’s safe to say that it was no technological marvel and itched like hell. In 1914, Speedo branched out from underwear to produce swimwear. Speedo’s first major contribution to the sport was the introduction of the Racerback style which increased both speed and flexibility. Today the Racerback remains a very popular cut for female swimmers.