On Wednesday, May 15, 1940, nylon stockings first became available for public sale, replacing the more fragile silk stockings. No consumer item before had caused such a nationwide pandemonium. By the end of the year, 64 million pairs of nylon stockings were sold. After the United States got involved with WWII, all nylon production went to the war effort. Silk was also unavailable so rayon stockings were produced. Women also would use makeup to simulate stockings and a Nylon Black Market formed. When the war ended, nylon went back into stocking production. The demand for stockings was so great that fights would break out at stores. These fights became known as Nylon Riots. It took a year for production to start catching up with demand. Below: a 1940 Sears & Roebuck ad.