The 50 Most Iconic Designs of Everyday Objects

15. T-Shirt

Year Invented: 1913

Designer: U.S. Navy

The origin of the t-shirt is murky. Some say that the British wore the garment under their military uniforms during World War I, and others say that the French may have worn them even earlier. Most people cite the U.S. Navy as the originator of the shirt—first requiring it in their issued uniforms as early as 1913. Other branches of the military were soon to follow; in the late 1930s, the Marines adopted the garment, and by the end of WWII, the Army had it as well. It was the popularity among the armed forces that allowed to shirt to transition from just a piece of uniform to an everyday clothing staple. By the late 1950s, the T-shirt had seeped into American pop-culture, sported by Hollywood icons like James Dean and Marlon Brando.

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