MUSEUM OF MENSTRUATION AND
TamPak menstrual tampons, super,
with applicator, Turkey, 1973
imitated Tampax as well as
American films like The Wizard of
I believe Turkey is the most Western
of the Muslim nations and possibly
sold tampons before the others. And it
looks as if a company made a
look-a-like Tampax, maybe because Tampax
was the only tampon most of the
customers knew or heard of.
The imitation starts with the color,
which has perhaps changed from
oxidation. (Compare with a Tampax box
from a few years before, below.)
The name itself is revealing.
Someone, probably from Tambrands,
wrote on the white label. Do you see the
double line under the letter K,
pointing out the difference between
the real and fake Tampax? I'd
bet the Tampax lawyers saw it too. I
think the capitalization of the letter
P, plus the K for the X, were intended
to fend off lawsuits, at the same time
leading the buyer astray. And the
typeface is completely different; it
looks like a German typeface from
decades before, and might be, since
Germany helped westernize Turkey after
World War I, starting with its
language, which had an Arabic script.
Unlike the smaller
TamPak this one has an
applicator. Tampax famously made the
first tampon with an applicator (see
and early history plus a very early
Nowhere do you find patent
information - if there is a
The box measures 5.5" x 4" x 1.5"
(14 x 10 x 3.5 cm).
Tambrands kindly donated the box
as part of a large
gift from its archives.
Someone at Tampax underlined K
twice, once more than with the smaller TamPak.
Compare the sides, above and below.
Why would the Turkish box bear
English, repeating the Tampax
verbiage? Maybe to fool a buyer who
equates Tampax with tampon just as
many Americans do. The instructions,
inside, are in Turkish.
Tampax since its beginning
emphasized "NO BELTS, NO PINS, NO
PADS," irritations women put up with
for years (see
one on a mannequin) and would
soon almost completely abandon (except
for pads) when adhesive pads appeared
(see an early
one here - and see some belts).
One end of the box. The other end
has "registered trademark" in Turkish.
© 2006 Harry Finley. It is
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