Itsy bitsy teenie weenie

Slate's fun retrospective of the bikini takes you from ancient Greece to so-called "bathing machines" to Raquel Welch.

Published July 7, 2006 3:50PM (EDT)

Before you go to the beach this weekend, check out Slate's fun historical slideshow of the bikini. The photos are great -- but for those who, ahem, click on it for the article, there are all sorts of fun facts included too.

For instance, did you know the bikini was named for the Bikini Atoll, the island in the Pacific where the United States did much of its atomic bomb testing? At the time, le bikini was thought to be as explosive as the new weapon.

A 1957 issue of Modern Girl magazine announced, "It is hardly necessary to waste words over the so-called bikini since it is inconceivable that any girl with tact and decency would ever wear such a thing." But only seven years later the first Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue came out, and the rest, as they say, is history.

By Sarah Goldstein

Sarah Goldstein is an editorial fellow at Salon.

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