Otto and the Quiz Night

I really enjoy quiz shows and love going to quiz nights. Like most of us, I get the 54000 dollar question right but stumble along the way. This is about a quiz night I went to some years ago.

There were the usual questions about movies and movie stars, about sports and sportsmen and women, about geography and history and off course about current affairs. But one question always stuck in my memory. It was a true or false question and it went something like this. Otto Titzlinger was a German migrant who invented the ladies bra, true or false? I will give you the resulting answer of this question shortly.

Otto Titzlinger was a German Migrant living in New York in the nineteen twenties. He had a relationship with a would be opera singer, a certain Miss Olafsen. Miss Olafsen was a lady of large proportions who constantly complained about the corset which was the undergarment for ladies at the time. The corset was uncomfortable and provided no uplift or support. The intrepid Otto set about creating a garment that would give Miss Olafsen the comfort that she wanted and no doubt would put Otto into her favour.

He was successful and set about producing his creation for all women. Enter Philippe de Brassiere. Phillipe saw a good opportunity and set about taking over the world of producing ladies bras. Poor old Otto hadn’t thought about patenting his creation and no amount of litigation through the courts achieved his being awarded any ruling over Philippe. Philippe made a fortune. I guess by now you have discovered how the name of brassiere, shortened to bra came about. When we read or hear stories like this we rightly feel that Otto has been hard done by. Philippe was a seasoned campaigner and poor old Otto was a naive migrant who didn’t stand a chance.

Back to the quiz question. All the people at our table and at the other tables reckoned that it was a trick question although not very well disguised. There were too many tongue in cheek references in the name so our table unanimously decided that the answer was false. Having read the concise story as outlined above, what do you think?

The quiz master said that the answer was true!!

I set about checking up on Otto Titzlinger on the internet. Otto was a fictional character in a book written by a Canadian by the name of Wallace Reyburn as was Philippe de Brassiere. The title of the book cleverly begun with the words Bust Up… Maybe the quizmaster should have checked up too.