HISTORY OF JOCKSTRAPS
A jockstrap (also known as a jock, jock strap, strap, supporter, or athletic supporter) is an undergarment originally designed for supporting the male genitalia during vigorous physical activity including most sports activity.
Today the jockstrap is still utilized for sports activities mainly in North America. Besides this ‚fashion jockstraps‘ have become popular as regular underwear worn by men as an alternative to other styles.
A jockstrap consists of a waistband (usually elastic) with a support pouch for the genitalia and two elastic straps affixed to the base of the pouch and to the left and right sides of the waistband at the hip. The pouch, in some varieties, may be fitted with a pocket to hold an abdominal guard (impact resistant cup, box) to protect the testicles and the penis from injury. Fashion jockstraps follow the design of sports models but appear in a variety of colors and fabrics.
The Bike Jockey Strap was the first jockstrap manufactured in America in 1874. The jockstrap was invented that year by C. F. Bennett of a Chicago sporting goods company, Sharp & Smith, to provide comfort and support for bicycle jockeys working the cobblestone streets of Boston. In 1897 Bennett’s newly formed Bike Web Company patented and began mass-producing the Bike Jockey Strap. The Bike Web Company later became known as the Bike Company. Eventually the name Bike Jockey Strap was shrunk to „jock strap„.
Most of the early Bike jockstraps had large waistbands ranging from 3″ to the extra-wide 6″ band.
The Bike No. 9 has an extra-wide 6″ waistband.
Today jockstraps have evolved and tend to have much thinner bands. Pictured below is a Bike Web Jockey Strap from the mid 1930s. As their advertising said, „A three-inch waistband all-elastic supporter that gives extra-firm support, is sturdy, long-lasting, comfortable.“ Notice that the pouch and waistband are made of the same material.
Nylon Bike No. 58 swimmer supporter from the 1970s.
Cup – Jockstraps
The athletic cup to be worn together with a jockstrap was developed at the beginning of the twentieth century. The Cultural Encyclopedia of Baseball credits catcher Claude Berry with introducing the cup to major league baseball in 1904.
Bike jockstraps were then also available with a cup pouch. Typically the cup was inserted in an outer pouch which was opened with two snap fasteners. Later on, the pouch was moved inside the jock and therefore it was hardly visible if the jockstrap contained a cup or not.
Athletic cups were traditionally uncomfortable, typically made of hard plastic or even metal.
As more sportsmen voluntarily wore or had to wear a protective cup, the makers of cups improved their design and the typical “banana” like shape became more an ergonomic shape, lighter thanks to innovative plastic materials, ventilation holes and contoured, flexible side edges for higher wearing comfort.
The forerunner of this development was again Bike Athletic with the introduction of their “PROFLEX” hard cup in 2000, followed shortly after by the PROFLEX 2 and, for the first time, in four color coded sizes – Adult, Teen, Youth, Tee ball.
In 2006 Bike Athletic finally introduced the PROFLEX MAX cup for highest performance and wearing comfort. Its kinetic properties of the wave design allow the soft TPE shell to move with the body.
Bike`s jockstrap has been copied by numerous companies but it has been always the market leader since it invented the jockstrap in 1874. Both, for the jockstrap and those with pouch, till today, over 350 million pieces were produced, averaging 2,5 million units per year.
In 2001, the Meyer Marketing company of Germany became Bike Athletic’s sole distributor for Europe and when the Russell corporation acquired the Bike Athletic company in 2003, they agreed on Meyer Marketing’s request to enlarge the jockstrap range by offering some models not only in the colors black and white but also in the colors scarlet, royal and gold.
Together with the Bike cup supporters and Bike cups they soon became the market leader in Europe and Meyer Marketing the top customer for this product category.
In 2016, the Russell corporation decided to discontinue the brand BIKE and the production of the protective range of products under this brand. Meyer Marketing as the long term BIKE distributor in Europe took over the manufacturing of the original jockstraps and other protective sports products.
Since 2017, all these products carry the brand sign MM instead of BIKE ensuring its continued originality and quality.
The range of jockstraps concentrate on three the original lines which differ in the width of the waistband: 1“,2“,3“. The one inch line is available in 3 colors, the two and three inch line in 5 colors.
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Meyer Marketing GmbH
Vordere Cramergasse 11
90552 Röthenbach a. d. Pegnitz
Juergen Meyer, Yoko Schuster
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