On July 5, 1946, less than a week after the United States detonated an atomic bomb above tiny Bikini Atoll in the South Pacific, a Frenchman named Louis Réard introduced to the sunbathing public the world’s smallest swimsuit. 
See more photos on LIFE.com here. 
(Photo: Ralph Morse—Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images)

On July 5, 1946, less than a week after the United States detonated an atomic bomb above tiny Bikini Atoll in the South Pacific, a Frenchman named Louis Réard introduced to the sunbathing public the world’s smallest swimsuit. 

See more photos on LIFE.com here. 

(Photo: Ralph Morse—Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images)

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