Algebra was an amazing invention by an innovative, 28-year-old Viennese fashion magnate named Hans Mamma. In 1946, when Europe was short of all sorts of raw materials as it struggled to recover from the war, Mamma created the first women’s breast-support undergarment made from pond scum.
Mamma was convinced that this would revolutionize the women’s undergarment industry. The raw material for his creation was free, and often even better than free. After the European economies began to rebuild, many municipalities paid Mamma to come and collect scum from the ponds in their parks as a means of beautifying them. Thus, Mamma sometimes came close to covering his costs of manufacturing and marketing algebras before he sold any.
As it turned out, Mamma died in 1977, at the age of only 59, not just penniless, but deeply in depth. Despite their environmental greenness, algebras had two attributes that most potential customers considered to be highly negative. First, the stench that emanated from them was almost unbearable. And, second, the reason for the odor was that the material they were made from had already started to rot well before they were manufactured. That putrefaction never ended, including while the algebra was being worn.
Mamma had not counted on women not wanting smelly, rotting things up against their breasts. How was he to know? The women of his day often weren’t very good at detecting and rejecting those characteristics in the men they allowed to cop a feel. So, figured Mamma, why should they object to algebras?