See ads for
menarche-education booklets: Marjorie May's Twelfth
Birthday (Kotex, 1932), Tampax
tampons (1970, with Susan Dey), Personal Products
(1955, with Carol Lynley), and German o.b. tampons (lower
And read Lynn Peril's series
about these and similar booklets!
Read the full text of the 1935 Canadian edition
of Marjorie May's Twelfth Birthday, probably
identical to the American edition.
More ads for teens (see also introductory page for
teenage advertising): Are
you in the know?
(Kotex napkins and Quest napkin powder, 1948,
you in the know?
(Kotex napkins and belts, 1949, U.S.A.)Are you in the know? (Kotex napkins, 1953, U.S.A.),
Are you in the know? (Kotex napkins and belts,
1964, U.S.A.), Freedom
(1990, Germany), Kotex (1992, U.S.A.), Pursettes (1974, U.S.A.), Pursettes (1974, U.S.A.), Saba (1975, Denmark)
See early tampons
and a list of tampon
on this site - at least the ones I've cataloged.
Early "sanitary panties" for menstruation from
the Sears, Roebuck Catalog (1928)
Apparently women did not wear
underpants until the upper classes
started doing so in the nineteenth
century, probably originally developed
in England for children to shield
their legs and genitals from view when
playing at school.
The first ones were essentially two
long leg tubes joined at the waist,
leaving a large gap in the crotch,
enabling the woman to perform bodily
functions without lowering them. I
suspect the wide dresses of the era
made dealing with underpants
Later in the century the gap was
closed, and the legs became shorter.
Sears sold a form of children's
diapers early in the century which
actually looked like today's briefs
for both sexes.
In 1922 Sears advertised "sanitary
bloomers" for night wear, which
look like the briefs we know.
It wasn't until 1935 that Sears sold
what we would call briefs for
women to wear in non-menstrual
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