Beauty culture shaped the work experiences of women factory operatives and office staff at Maidenform in complex and often contradictory ways. Work culture, as Susan Porter Benson has defined it, is the "ideology and practice with which workers stake out a relatively autonomous sphere of action on the job". Historians have explored the role consumerism played in defining the work culture of a wide range of women, from department store sales clerks and factory workers, to waitresses and telephone operators. In the early twentieth century, participation in consumer culture did not necessarily preclude radicalism. Postwar commercial beauty culture was increasingly depoliticized and was no longer the same source of workplace radicalism as it had been in the early twentieth century. The Maidenform Company founded the modern brassiere manufacturing industry. Beauty culture at Maidenform provided a language through which women articulated social relations among themselves.