On pants: ‘How can we keep ‘em up?’ woman queries Jeffers (4-24-43)

The Pittsburgh Press (April 24, 1943)

Pants need support –
‘How can we keep ‘em up?’ woman queries Jeffers

Screenshot 2022-04-24 075032

Washington (UP) –
A new and serious problem – how to keep women’s pants on – was dumped into the lap of Rubber Director William M. Jeffers today.

A woman in Orlando, Florida, wrote Mr. Jeffers that it was imperative that he do something about the elastic rubber situation. She asked:

Will you kindly tell me how you expect the women of America to keep their pants on? I am not referring to slacks, that imitation of man’s attire, but to those undercover garments, variously known as panties, briefs, step-ins, bloomers and snuggies, a most vital part of a woman’s attire.

Not a store in Orlando, the woman said, has an inch of elastic tape. She said:

And for your information, I will say that it is elastic tape and it alone which confines these garments to the female form.

And therefore, Mr. Jeffers, we appeal to you in our extremity (and for our extremities) be it synthetic, recaps, or scrap, but give us elastic tape!

Mr. Jeffers said the problem was too much for him to solve alone. He called in his deputy director, Bradley Dewey. Mr. Jeffers said:

The women can rest assured that we aren’t taking the matter lightly. We’ll work something out.


The things the home front complains about lol. Sliced bread and elastic tape.


If my wife were alive back in 1943, she would’ve complained about it as well. :joy: That and not enough duct tape :joy: :wink:


Was there any duct tape available? I thought it was adapted during the war. Sure the duck tape was available although I’m sure in short supply.

And I’m glad she would have complained but also glad that these complaints were not about food shortages, medicine shortages and other life altering needs.

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Yes. But not quite as common and not as gags just yet :wink: At least medical and electrical tape existed then too :).

Hmm, God knows I’m no expert, or amateur, but what I see as Electrical tape really didn’t exist back then either.

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Before the early '40s, “electrical tape” was cloth tape impregnated with Chatterton’s compound, used in the soldering process on knob and tube wiring (also referred to as friction tape). Vinyl, PVC came by way later, obviously.

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You are incorrigible, Norman. :rofl::rofl:

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Blame mini-me watching a certain episode of The Man From U.N.C.L.E. and various other shows for that :joy:

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I happened to watch a video the other day about how an upper-class European woman got dressed in the days before elasticized materials became available. Due to a noted lack of central heating, there were many layers required underneath the outer clothes, and pretty much each of those layers had to be tied on in one way or another. Maids were absolutely required for any woman of more than moderate means, and not just for the status-signalling function, but literally because they needed at least one other human to help them get dressed or undressed. We mere males may joke about how long it may take our womenfolk to get dressed, but it was far, far worse before modern materials were invented!