So when Japan cut off the West from their silk, American women freaked the hell out. Women put money into grabbing the last silk pantyhose at a time when they had to grow their own food and turn over their kitchen grease for the war effort. That's how important silk was.
What can we say, priorities are priorities.
It was about that point that American ladies got good news and bad news. The good news was that back in 1935, DuPont hired the brightest chemists of the day to work on synthetic polymers to replace the silk they knew they weren't going to be able to get once Japanese relations soured, and what they came up with was nylon.
Nylon was stronger than silk and totally awesome for covering bare legs. The bad news was that, oh yeah, the war effort really needed all of America's nylon for parachutes and tires and flak vests. So the ladies got their nylon hose for about two weeks, then they were cut off once more.
But by the end of the war three different companies were producing versions of nylon, improving on the original until they could mix it with cotton fibers in order to create easy to wash, wrinkle free shirts. And more importantly, cranking out those sexy pantyhose. And we all know what happened when soldiers came home to see their wives wearing the miracle material that had saved so many lives during the war:
Nine months later, she gave birth to the first of America's most insufferable generation.
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For more modern brands created during tough times, check out 6 Global Corporations Started by Their Founder's Shitty Luck. Or learn about some inventors that fortune favored, in 5 Accidental Inventions That Changed The World.
And stop by Linkstorm (Updated Today!) to see how many Twinkies David Wong can eat in one sitting.
Or find out what happened when the Red Army listened to "Beat It."
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