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BVD
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BVD

BVD is a brand of men's underwear, which are commonly referred to as "BVDs."

BVD stands for Bradley, Voorhees & Day, the New York City firm that initially manufactured underwear of this name for both men and women. It was founded in 1876 by three business men whose surnames happened to be Bradley, Voorhees and Day.

BVD first became famous for its men's "spiral bustle" with long sleeves and legs made of heavy knitted fabric. In 1908, that bulky and tight fitting garment was turned into a new kind of loose fitting underwear. They went on to introduce a two-piece and the popular union suit.

They introduced a lightweight waffle-like fabric with the advertising slogan, "Next to Myself I Like BVD Best."

To promote sales during the Depression, BVD began manufacturing what was at that time considered provocative swimwear. They started a trend toward one-piece women's bathing suits with no skirt attached, and helped start the trend of topless swimming trunks for men. In 1929, Olympic swimmer Johnny Weissmuller, who went on to become the most famous Tarzan in motion pictures, was hired as a model and representative. He was featured at swim shows throughout the country wearing the BVD brand of swimsuits, handing out leaflets and giving autographs.

In 1951, the company merged with Superior Mills. BVD was first to start packaging underwear in plastic bags for the mass market. In the 1960s and 1970s, they started introducing sportops, a pocket T-shirt, and fashionable underwear made of nylon.

In 1976, BVD was purchased by Fruit of the Loom, which brought the brand to a worldwide market. BVD now manufactures underwear only for men.

BVD was and remains the best known initial trademark in the world.


Tin Pan Alley songs occasionally referenced BVD underwear:

"An evening spent with Hannah sittin' on your knees,
 Is like drivin' through Alaska in your BVDs."

-Hard Hearted Hannah (The Vamp Of Savannah) by Milton Ager, Charles Bates, Bob Bigelow and Jack Yellen Published 1924