A V I S U A L C O M M U N I C A T I O N C O M M U N I T Y W E B P A G E
When t-shirts were invented in the early 1900s they were never intended to be seen. T-shirts were underwear for men in the American Navy to wear beneath wooly jumpers. They continued to be worn by the U.S. armed services as underwear until Hollywood stars James Dean and Marlon Brando shocked the world and wore them as outerwear in films. Suddenly t-shirts were cool! These days it can be hard to find a plain t-shirt but it wasn't until 1948 when the first t-shirt was made with a slogan on it to promote the New York governor, Thomas E Dewey's election campaign.
By the fifties everyone was wearing t-shirts and companies had started sticking pictures and slogans on them and selling them as souvenirs. But the real breakthrough happened in 1959 when stretchy ink was invented.
Since then there's been no stopping them, from the anti-war slogans of the sixties, to the huge oversized t-shirts of the 80s and the tight tees of the 90s right up to the customised trend of the 00s. SOURCE www.bbc.co.uk/cbbc/art/howto/tshirts/history.shtml