Updated 26 October; next scheduled update late afternoon, Washington time, 2 November, but sometimes updated throughout the week.
"Time dos fly too fast"
Lady Elizabeth Delaval
in her poem "Upon the Singing of a Lark" in Dr Sara Read's
"Menstruation and the Female Body in Early Modern England," a fount of learning
This web site is "odd, funny and well researched" - The New York Times
This museum collection is "[U]nrivaled. . . . [T]he best material culture collection on menstruation in the world."
-
Menstruation: A Cultural History
(Howie, Shail, eds.) This museum, MUM, has thousands of advertisements and products concerning menstruation from around the world.
This museum Web site is "a treasure trove of information." -
Kotex, Kleenex, Huggies: Kimberly-Clark and the Consumer Revolution in American Business, by Thomas Heinrich and Bob Batchelor.

Listen to MUM director Harry Finley carry on about men and menstruation, the MUM museum in his basement, toxic shock, etc., on the Keeper menstrual cup site. No, they didn't pay me.
ABOUT MUM (MUseum of Menstruation):
"May God close your horable museum." From a letter, with original spelling, to the Museum of Menstruation, from "Shocked, by women," mailed from Cheyenne, Wyoming, U.S.A.
"Consider how Surg. Gen. Koop changed the country! . . . Carry on!" Judge Giles S. Rich (retired), United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, Washington, D. C. (from a letter to me)
Comments from TV, online, radio and other media about this museum.
Three listeners' comments (more) from my half-hour interview with Howard Stern (here):
° "Get a life, creep."

° "[I] am quite familiar with the obstacles to a frank and intelligent discussion of menstruation." (Nancy Freedman, author of Everything You Must Know About Tampons, 1981)
° "I was just listening to your interview with Howard Stern. You handled yourself very well with him. He lambastes just about anyone with a peculiar interest, but you had him very much in check. I was amazed!"

Google declares this site "adult,"not something a family could look at together and withdraws the ads it had placed here for 8 years (December 2011). I need permission slips from Google employees' mothers before they peek at this site. NO FAKE SIGNATURES OR I'LL SEND YOU TO THE PRINCIPAL'S OFFICE!!

"Stick to jock itch products, buddy." In a commentary about the museum and its creator in the defunct Sassy, an American magazine for teenage girls.
"Terrifically diverse" - The Independent on Sunday (London, England)
"It's fabulous that somebody out there is willing to . . . pull back the curtain." Mona Miller, national media relations director of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, discussing the museum in The Prince George's Journal, Maryland, U.S.A.
"One of the best on the Internet" - Britannica.com 
"Ecco perché Harry Finley ne sa più della tua Mamma" - Marie Claire magazine (Italian edition)
"This gem of a website is a virtual repository for everything you ever
wanted to know about women's periods."
- New Scientist magazine (United Kingdom)
"More interesting than you might think. . . . lively." The V Book: A Doctor's Guide to Complete Vulvovaginal Health, by Elizabeth G. Stewart, M.D., of Harvard medical school and Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston.
More media on MUM
The New York Times:
This site is "odd, funny and well researched"

Judge Giles S. Rich:
"Consider how Surg. Gen. Koop changed the country! Carry on!"

Below, the latest menstruation articles, news, with the
history of menstrual products & culture.

 ................................................................................................................................]


OMG!
Do these women travel from ad to ad for different companies?
You witness them betraying Kotex for Modess!

Modess ad, 1934
......................................................



I see London, I see France ....
Always pads protect you know what!
Dutch ad, 2002
.............................................


The notice of the 1971 annual meeting of shareholders
where it's proposed to change the name to
Tassaway, Inc., just in time for the menstrual
cup company to fail!

......................................................


 

The book is a torrent of information, unique, about
menstrual activism.
The author inscribed the copy she sent me, in part,
"For Harry, .... a rebel, & an inspiration to us all!
THANK YOU!"
Dr. Bobel is the incoming president of the
Society for Menstrual Cycle Research.
............................................................

What, you think there's a matriarchal society in Europe?
NO WAY! WAY!
Read the story and see great pictures on the French
news site Le Monde.
..........................................

 

OMG, another annual report!!
............................................

Lost but now found:
A friend send me the link to the Roadside America page
about this museum when it was open in my house.

See the video and photos!
.........................................................

Like, this is a really short letter, isn't it?
Mrs. Chalmers did fill in the center to goad women into
buying her menstrual cup.
And on pink paper!
..............................................................


A menstrual cup company issues an
annual report, 1970, Tassaway.

...........................................................

Addition to Words and expressions for menstruation:
U.S.A.: #bloodcannon
...........................................................



"Jenkins! Brandy Alexander for Mrs. Whitney-Morgan!
And the usual for me - Kotex!"
Ad for Kotex pads, 1927 (updated)

.......................................................................



OMG, five years down the toilet!
Ad for Modess pads, 1938.

...........................................................................


Ah, the mystery of menstruation!
What can this be?
Modess pad ad, 1930

...............................................................................

"90-Year-Old Sex Columnist Shatters Taboos in India"
Read the New York Times article and see some of India's problems with menstruation.
.....................................................................................


GEEN UITWEG reads the Dutch menstrual pad ad: NO EXIT
But is you-know-what exiting under her?

Always pad ad, The Netherlands, 1997
...............................................................

The Duchess in the stall:
Judith Thurman writes of the brilliant fashion designer
Charles James and photographer Cecil Beaton
and the Modess .... because (bottom of page) ads
of mid-20th century America
in The New Yorker, 5 May 2014.
NEWS FLASH!: Read about and see pictures of the Metropolitan Museum's exhibit of James's dresses.

.............................................


What was at The World's Busiest Corner in the 1920s?
No, no, it looks like a tombstone for the traffic dead but isn't.
It was a Kotex display! Well, next to it.
See a kind of proof.
................................................................


Are you a smart, beautiful woman?
Bright, full of life?
Then you mustn't have a care in the world!
Um, right.
Anyway, Venus pads are - er, were - for you!
Ad, 1931.

..........................................................


appreciate Kotex!
At least that's what this 1920s handwritten text for
a Kotex ad says.

..............................................


Oh, the irony!
But stains on the seat of her pants would have been worse.
Dutch Libresse Invisible ad, 1997
.....................................................................


This Dutch girl always carries one with her.
Guess! It has wings and - no, not her parakeet.
Well, see for yourself!
...........................................................



Gosh, will you see the pad
from outside?
Dutch Libresse ad, 2002

........................................................................

First Moon Party
See this funny ad.

.............................................................

"Judges With Daughters More Often Rule in Favor of Women’s Rights"
More so with Republican appointees. Wonderful New York Times story.
...............................................

Will you get depressed after childbirth?
Read the great article in the New York Times.

................................................................


Are you a Doubting Lady?
Or any kind of lady? Or a lady at all?
Modess pads absorbed those concerns!
Modess ad, 1933.

...........................................................



Want to cheat your neighbor?
The government squeezes another quack, in 1930.
A package insert for
Wampole's Antiseptic Vaginal Cones of Boroglyceride
and the same stuff with ichthyol
,
With the FDA judgment.

................................................................


Taking a vacation?
Pack your nice shoes and, of course, Kotex,
but don't swim with one on!
Kotex ad, 1921.

.....................................................................

Guys, want to "experience" menstruation?
No? Darn it, I was hoping you would say Yes.

Go ahead, experience it (at second, third or fourth hand) with the
Menstruation Machine!

President elect of the Society for Menstrual Cycle Research
Dr. Christina Bobel, chair of women's and gender studies
at the University of Massachusetts, Boston,

sent me the link to her debate at New York's Museum of Modern Art about whether such empathy (even with this machine) is possible.
I left my 1.5 cent's worth of comment on that site.
She also reminds us that
Menstrual Hygiene Day is right around the corner (28 May).
(
See the great series of photos by Navesh Chitrakar of having to use a menstrual hut - start here. See also hygiene efforts in India.)
And Representative Carolyn Maloney reintroduces her effort to push Congress to investigate toxic shock syndrome and the safety of menstrual products with the
The Robin Danielson Act.
Read David Linton's discussion.
............................................................................


"Me? Part of the 99%?? DAHling!"
Ad for Kotex, 1939

..................................................................

"Seven Ways To Beat PMS"
Story at Intellihealth (Harvard)
.......................................


Don't you think it's cool that a happy little man would give you a
"thumbs up" for using his disposal bag correctly?

And he's, like, standing right next to you!!!
In the stall!!!
And winking!!!

7 more pad disposal bags from the Director of
the Centre for Digital Humanities at University College London,
Professor Melissa Terras
.
...................................................................


Would you pole vault for a flexible Modess tampon?
Actually, she's grabbing an inflexible fountain pen, of all things.
You don't know what a fountain pen is?!! OMG!!!
Like, both star in her newspaper ad, 30 November, 1956!!!
.........................................................

Would she stop menstruating if she could? She sure would!!! And already has!
................................................................................
She writes that she's allergic to the latex in a menstrual cup - and gives her solution.

.........................................................



"Don't hit me!!! I'll buy Camelia!"
No, no, she's advising her to buy Camelia in a French ad
from probably the late 1940s or 1950s.


........................................................................


Great advances for womankind!!!
1978 American Kotex ad showing the company's offerings.
..............................................................

Files lost and found:
The NERVE!!!
Kotex wanted to put its pad dispenser where Tampax employees could use it!

........................................................


L O O K - I N T O - M Y - E Y E S!!!
GET -  YOUR - HAND - AWAY - FROM - THAT - TAMPAX!
BUY ME!!!

Ad for Vania Ultra menstrual pads with sphagnum moss, 1994, France

..........................................................


"Ni ceintures, Ni épingles, Ni odeur"
That's the French Tampax slogan you'll see
in this ad from the 1960s or 70s translating the American
"No belts, No pins, No odor."
But bébé, mais oui!!!

.....................................................................


Do you think she can???
Tampax ad reassuring potential users, May 1989
......................................................

Julia Kuck's poem
"MUM's the Word"
I'm flattered!!
..................................................................................

14-year-old Uttara Saud sits in a menstrual hut in Nepal
during her period, below.
See the great series of photos by Navesh Chitrakar
(start here)

in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung,
one of Germany's best newspapers.

I translated the 19 photo captions into English here.


A section of a photo by Navesh Chitrakar
................................

Read the amazing story about a man who invented a menstrual pad-making machine in India to supply poor women.
"The Indian sanitary pad revolutionary" (BBC)

From the article:
"There are also myths and fears surrounding the use of sanitary pads [in India] - that women who use them will go blind, for example, or will never get married."
See some other current Indian menstrual practices.
........................................................................

"Ovulation motivates women to outdo other women, research shows"
Read the story.

.............


Are you kidding??? White sheets???
Always Overnights Maxis with Wings ad, January 1998
...............................................................

A contribution to
Words and expressions for menstruation:
U.S.A.:
Flying her colors

with a scan of the part of the letter to a soldier in Europe
that contained it, June 25, 1944

............................................................


O dulcet breeze from the Indian Ocean!!! O crashing surf!!!
O - Oh, wait!!! That was a tampon wrapper ripping open!

A menstrual pad disposal wrapper from England ...
and yet another one! Both from the learned Director of
University College London Centre for Digital Humanities and Professor of Digital Humanities, UCL.
..............................................................................................

Contribution to
Words and expressions for menstruation:
U.K.:
Womb juice
...............................................................

An e-mailer sends this query,

I am transcribing a series of diaries 
from the 1890s well into the 20th century.
In these diaries the women refer to getting their
period as the C. R. C. (or CRC or C R C) called. I would like to know what C R C stands for.

Send your replies to MUM.
..................................



Liberté!!! Sororité!!! Tampaxité!!!
Tampax display sits on French dealers' counter tops in 1938 -
then Tampax disappears the next year?

Plus 4 1938 French ads
........................................................................................................


OMG, they have lubricated tips?!?
Do cats meow?
Pursettes tampon ad, May 1974
..............................................................


Do you believe Tampax induces a religious experience!!??
Tampax's "Coming of Age" folder, 1940s-1950s?

...........................................................................

Accidents in the office?
2 Kotex ads to the rescue in 1981!

..........................................................................


Do you want to cause a fuss?
American Apparel sells a T-shirt "with a simplistic line drawing
depicting a masturbating, menstruating woman with pubic hair.
"
The writer misuses the pejorative word "simplistic" - he should have said "simple" - and talks with the artist, Petra Collins, about
the shirt. He makes the point that pictures of people killing one another are accepted and common in America but not menstruation. But for the past 15 years you could see related depictions on this site. By the way, during a nationwide tour related to women's health in the early 2000s one venue (I think the Maryland Science Center in Baltimore) put walls around the section containing the puberty booklets I lent to the exhibit.
I know what a fuss is.  (Photo from American Apparel)

.......................................................................................

"The Happy Baby"
Pamphlet from the Lydia Pinkham drug mill, 1920s-1930s.
I'm glad the baby's still happy because ....


... imagine my unhappiness when I discovered on
the Web this exact booklet and article I had been working so diligently
on the past few days - I had created and posted it
five years ago! I had even written similar
commentary and added similar pictures!
Whatever. I made cosmetic changes to the article.
That shows the evil of not indexing articles right after
putting them on MUM. I'm digging through the server
to find and make available more forgotten articles.
Do you want to see what a wet basement can do
to paper? See this booklet before and after
5 years.

...................................................................


Indexing's not made easier when a 24-pound cat called Lunch Box can (without a warning meow) jump from the table behind me and
collide with my lap.

OOOOOF, he just did.


..............................................................................

WASPish teens have fun.
Kotex Are you in the know? ad, July, 1947.
...............................................


I just received my copy of Dr Sara Read's latest,
a Christmas present to myself.

...........................................................................


Of course healthy Swedish women do not have yellow skin.
But this is marginally relevant in the discussion
of an ad for Carefree tampons, 1967.

..........................................................


Carefree in the U.S. but in Germany?
Two ads for Carefree, 1989 and 1991.

.........................................................



Ancient Egypt in two 1980s German o.b. ads
............................................................................
New words and expressions for menstruation: Germany: Ölwechsel, Putzwolle, visitor
A German student contributes her teacher's direct but indirect and
memorable reply to

Would you
stop menstruating if you could?
......................................................................


Tricks of the menstrual (and other) trade:

German ad for Carefree panty pads, 1991
...........................................................................................................................................

"Menstrual Cycle Influences Concussion Outcomes
Nov. 13, 2013 — Researchers found that women injured during the two weeks leading up to their period (the premenstrual phase) had a slower recovery and poorer health one month after injury compared to women injured during the two weeks directly after their period or women taking birth control pills." Read the whole article at ScienceDaily.
..............................................................................................



Kotex equalizes something in an ad, 1933.

.......................................................................

Australian Steven Riley, of Veeda, asked me to post this about his tampon:


"Veeda is a 100% natural feminine hygiene range of products. Veeda is the
first widely available product in the USA in the natural range that is
priced to compete with all the traditional brands. 100 % Cotton tampons are
highly recommended by Dr. Tierno, expert microbiologist, to drastically
reduce the risk of TSS.
Traditional feminine hygiene products are
commonly made from synthetics, rayon and polyester and these
substances are then placed next to or inserted into one of the most
absorbent places in your body. There are Options!! Veeda is 100% cotton,
No Synthetics, No Chemicals, No Dyes and No Dioxins. The limited available
organic options in the USA are normally 50% to 100% more expensive so we
have developed a product great for your body and great for your pocket."

................................................................

"Pesticides Linked to Endometriosis Risk"
Read the New York Times story
..............................................................

Your MUM is taking a menstrual holiday to photograph
a magnificent fall at Greenbelt Lake, near
Washington, D.C.
 
What you see are pads - lily, not Lilia pads - reflecting the sky
in water reflecting the colors of the trees.
I've taken thousands of pictures in the past two weeks.
The light show ends shortly
.
Back to mini, regular and maxi pads next week.
...........................................................................


I hope you were right, lady!
Modess pad ad, 15 February 1933

.......................................................


A frosty, fashionable, deep-pocketed Modess lady prepares
for her vacation in a 1930 Modess ad.

.....................................................................


Apply to the Lady Manager for a free sample
of Southall's sanitary towel.
Oops, you're too late but look at the ad halfway down the page.
 

...................................................................................................

The stock market crashes but the rich still need their Kotex!
Kotex ad, July 1930.

  ...................................................................

Menstrual customs in India:
A writer explains why things have improved for her.
.....................................................................


"it's time you knew ... all about menstruation"
An undated version of the 1966 Tampax booklet

..................................................................


50 years ago
Civil rights reform in America
Were menstrual products ads different
for blacks and whites? 

..................................................



Moss in menstrual pads?
Yup!
SFAG-NA-KINS, 1919, U.S.A.

..............................................................



A menstrual cup that failed:
Gynaeseal (Australia), 1980s-1990s
.....................................................................................

Menopause links:
The Daisy Network for premature menopause
Herbalist A. Vogel
More menopause and menstruation links

(see also Art of Menopause by Coni Menecci)

.........................................................................

Words and expressions for menstruation:
U.S.A.: Four-day fun time
...............................................................

So, one Puritan man says to another,
"Um, the custom of women...."
You get ONE guess as to what he's talking about.
Tick, tock, tick, tock ....
BZZZZ!
RIGHT! Your prize is the chance to buy - sorry,
I can't afford to give you one free and anyway it hasn't appeared yet -
Renaissance scholar Dr Sara Read's NEW BOOK

Menstruation and the Female Body in Early Modern England
(order UK, U.S.A. )
But I can offer you FREE teasers from Dr Read about how people discussed menstruation in that era!
......................................................

Speaking of which,
A comment (from "celia," now mostly deleted) to a Gail Collins New York Times column produces this addition to

Words and expressions
for menstruation:
Charlies [for tampons]
Isn't it strange that in a column devoted to Mr. Wiener's ween-, er, penis, er, whatever, the paper should delete this more useful mention of a synonym for tampons based on Prince Charles's wish that he wanted to be his mistress's tampon? (See more humor.)
Curious too that the length of the noses of both men resemble the objects they're associated with. Just sayin'.
.......................................................

Lynn Dunning updates her
Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome
article
........................................................


 

Advertising Age writes about the criticism of Tassette menstrual cup's huge billboard in Times Square, 1961.
..............................................
An Australian contribution to
Would you stop menstruating if you could?
...................................................................
"Mammals Can 'Choose' Sex of Offspring, Study Finds"
Read the ScienceDaily article.
.................................................................................
"Delayed Puberty: First Estrogen Receptor Mutation Found in a Young Woman"
Read the ScienceDaily article.
..........................................................................................

In a (supposedly genuine) Russian Tampax ad a shark ...
well, see for yourself.

THEN read what your MUM has to
say at the BOTTOM of this page.

I thank the Russian artist Vladislav Shabalin,

who sent the link!
...............................................................................................


Germany's ancient pad recruits a new user.
Ad for Camelia, 1990s
.............................................................................................

Forgot your tampon? Find a panda!

An interesting e-mailer sent the following:

I'm a bookworm and a history lover, and came across your website in the
past while researching historical products/methods used for menstruation.
This was quite some time ago, but today I was researching China, and it's
relationship to Giant Pandas of all things, when I came across a blip that
said women in ancient China may have used Panda pelts as a sort of sanitary
napkin.

I tried to skim through the site to see if you'd mentioned this anywhere,
but so far haven't seen it mentioned, so I thought I'd email you the info I
found.

The statement read:

"The few known uses include the Szechuan tribal peoples' use of panda
urine to melt accidentally swallowed needles, and the use of panda pelts to
control menses as described in the Qin Dynasty encyclopedia Erya."

And was cited as sourced from the book The Last Panda, by George B.
Schaller; ISBN 0226736296, 9780226736297. It was cited as being on page 61,
but as I don't know what edition they are referring to, it might not be
exact.

Anyhow, I just thought it might be of some interest to you.
.............................................................................................................

"Menopause May Be an Unintended Outcome of Men's Preference for Younger Mates"
"Over time, human males have shown a preference for younger women in selecting mates, stacking the Darwinian deck against continued fertility in older women, the researchers have found." Read the article from McMaster University in ScienceNews.
..........................................................................................

"Accounts director tells menstruating human
resources manager
to

'fast while the sun is up and refrain from cooking,
worship, and work-related email,'"
according to The Onion.
Wait, The Onion made this up??
Not everything!
.........................................................................................


White, finally!
Ad for Australian Kotex belt, 1956
..............................................................

Emmanuel Sala invites you to an
EXHIBITION
in Arles, France, 1-21 July, noon to 8.

l'atelier cinq, 5 rue Augustin Tardieu

"Our blood collective
This is our blood
introduces reflection about blood's confiscation,
which is generally made by medicine, power or religion. "We propose an exhibition of photos, marks on
canvas, installations, evoking alternately, life's mystery, menstruation and
death penalty's abolition. This exhibition is open to the entire public."
www.emmanuelsala.com (in French)
www.thisisourblood.com (in English)
http://www.myriambegue.com/ (in French)
http://www.gillesmagninphotographie.com/ (in French)

(See also the Art of Menstruation in MUM and
some ancient art of menstruation)
..........................................

Surprise inside for a woman who bought a box of tampons in Salt lake City, U.S.A.: cocaine!
Read the fascinating story and a short history of the medical use of tampons (and cocaine) to treat women's health problems.
In addition, the famous Johns Hopkins surgeon William Halsted became addicted to cocaine while testing it on himself as a local anesthetic. He substituted morphine to try to break his addiction but then became addicted to it. These drugs were not then illegal for general use in America (late 19th, early 20th century).
Many know him as the creator of the radical mastectomy and the doctor who introduced rubber gloves to surgery.
I thank MUM friend Melissa Terras, DPhil,

Director, University College London Centre for Digital Humanities.
...................................................................

So what's so funny? Menstruation?
Tampona ad, Germany, 1989

....................................................................................................

"Hormone Levels May Provide Key to Understanding Psychological Disorders in Women"
"May 24, 2013 — Women at a particular stage in their monthly menstrual cycle may be more vulnerable to some of the psychological side-effects associated with stressful experiences, according to a study from UCL."

.......................................................................................


A stock-trade article on the trials and tribulations but hopes for the Tassette menstrual cup, 1969.
...........................................................................................

"A POSITIVE CURE FOR
All Female Diseases" that
"works like a charm"

Orange Blossom patent medicine booklet, 1885
...............................

"Women Altering Menstruation Cycles in Large Numbers"
(news from the University of Oregon, U.S.A., via ScienceDaily.com)
Excerpt:

"In a survey of undergraduate and graduate students, 17 percent reported altering their scheduled bleeding pattern by deviating from the instructions of hormonal contraceptives, which include birth-control pills, vaginal contraceptive rings and transdermal contraceptive patches.

"Half of these women reported that they did so for convenience or scheduling purposes. Others cited personal preference (28.9 percent) or reducing menstrual symptoms (16.7 percent) as reasons they altered menstruation patterns.

"Among the women who delayed or skipped a scheduled bleeding for convenience or personal choice, a comparatively large number -- 53 percent -- indicated the knowledge was obtained from nonmedical sources, such as a family member or friend, researchers said."  Read the whole article.

Would you stop menstruating if you could?

.......................................................................................................

More words and expressions for menstruation from around the world:
England:
Manchester United are playing at home
Trooping the colour

U.S.A.:
Out of practice
Lailah's kicking me

.....................................................................

A contribution to
Would you
stop menstruating if you could?
...................................................................



Olympic gymnast Cathy Rigby, late in her Stayfree maxi-pad career, in a 1983 ad.
....................................................

A bird dipping into menstrual blood? Blue menstrual blood?

Ad for Silhouettes, Germany, 1988.
...........................................................................................


Now let me see your wallet.
Pe-ru-na conquers America, then America conquers Pe-ru-na.
Dr. Hartman's
Lectures on Chronic Catarrh booklet, about 1895

.............................................................

A new store, The Period Store!
The co-owner writes,

"Our business and our blog,
The Periodical http://theperiodstore.com/blog, is all about menstruation in culture, art, literature, business, and
humor.  We send women their monthly supplies along with gourmet sweets and art from contemporary artists that change every month."
..............................................................