This article originally appeared in the November 1926 issue of Popular Science. You can explore more of our archives--stretching back 140 years--here.
While tennis and golf were possible--if uncomfortable--in the "sport" clothes of the early years of the current century, speed swimming and track and field athletics, the two other branches of sport in which the woman of today has shown the most interest and the greatest ability, were next to impossible. No girl could run fast or swim fast while hampered in every movement by the clinging folds of useless cloth demanded by a convention of false modesty. It was not until the dawn of the present "jazz" age disclosed the startling fact that girls have legs like other people that woman discarded the senseless athletic clothing that had hampered her, and began to make real progress in sports.
That progress has been startlingly rapid, but in every sport there still remains a big gap between the best performances of men and the best performances of women. And in the opinion of most sport experts, women athletes will never be able to close that gap.