See Mary Pauline Callender, author of the Marjorie May menarche booklets for girls.
See a prototype of the first Kotex ad.
See more Kotex items: Ad 1928 (Sears and Roebuck catalog) - Marjorie May's Twelfth Birthday (booklet for girls, 1928, Australian edition; there are many links here to Kotex items) - 1920s booklet in Spanish showing disposal method - box from about 1969 - Preparing for Womanhood (1920s, booklet for girls) - "Are you in the know?" ads (Kotex) (1949)(1953)(1964)(booklet, 1956) - See more ads on the Ads for Teenagers main page
Ads for the Kotex stick tampon (U.S.A., 1970s) - a Japanese stick tampon from the 1970s.
Early commercial tampons - Rely tampon - Meds tampon (Modess)
CONTRIBUTE to Humor, Words and expressions about menstruation and Would you stop menstruating if you could?
Some MUM site links:
homepage | MUM address & What does MUM mean? | e-mail the museum | privacy on this site | who runs this museum?? |
Amazing women! | the art of menstruation | artists (non-menstrual) | asbestos | belts | bidets | founder bio | Bly, Nellie | MUM board | books: menstruation and menopause (and reviews) | cats | company booklets for girls (mostly) directory | contraception and religion | costumes | menstrual cups | cup usage | dispensers | douches, pain, sprays | essay directory | extraction | facts-of-life booklets for girls | famous women in menstrual hygiene ads | FAQ | founder/director biography | gynecological topics by Dr. Soucasaux | humor | huts | links | masturbation | media coverage of MUM | menarche booklets for girls and parents | miscellaneous | museum future | Norwegian menstruation exhibit | odor | olor | pad directory | patent medicine | poetry directory | products, current | puberty booklets for girls and parents | religion | Religión y menstruación | your remedies for menstrual discomfort | menstrual products safety | science | Seguridad de productos para la menstruación | shame | slapping, menstrual | sponges | synchrony | tampon directory | early tampons | teen ads directory | tour of the former museum (video) | underpants & panties directory | videos, films directory | Words and expressions about menstruation | Would you stop menstruating if you could? | What did women do about menstruation in the past? | washable pads
Leer la versión en español de los siguientes temas: Anticoncepción y religión, Breve reseña - Olor - Religión y menstruación - Seguridad de productos para la menstruación.

Women Representatives of Companies

From the very early days of advertising for menstrual pads and tampons, sellers used women, fictional perhaps, to pitch their products. Can you imagine a man, pad in hand, advising women to use them? (Actually, some have, like here.) Even though a man probably invented the first modern commercial menstruation napkin, and certainly did the first commercial tampon with an applicator, women could better trust another woman to understand the problems of their "critical days." "Critical days," by the way, an expression used in several cultures, will get a separate section of this site in the future. The German Camelia menstrual-pad people use it in a pre-World War II ad.

See also Mary Pauline Callender, author of the Marjorie May menarche booklets for girls.

Below we have two early appearances of the woman-to-woman approach, even though I suspect these, and later, women may have been speaking with a male voice. Men run the industry, after all. If alive, will the real Mrs. Barton and Nurse Thekla out themselves?

The Camelia ad is at the bottom of the page (See later Camelia ads: German Camelia ad right before World War ll - Australian Camelia ad (1952) - French Camelia ad (1970s) - German Camelia ad touting disposal bag(1990s)

Large files, long download!



Left: Mrs. Barton advised readers to buy Fems through her booklet "Personal Daintiness," here in an ad from McCall's magazine, September 1921. (Decades later, Sears portrayed a figure also called Barton to lend her name to menstrual gear.) Astute site visitors recall that Kotex started advertising its disposable napkin in January 1921. Even more astute visitors know that Kimberly-Clark (which Marjorie May's mother spoke for) sold a product called Fems decades later, and that a certain Ann Barton popped up in Sears catalogs at the same time, sweet-talking readers into buying her pads. Is there a Fems-to-the-left connection with Kimberly-Clark? And could the Barton-to-the-left be the mother of the Sears Barton? Folks, this is drama!
Let's assume that an ad man invented Mrs. Barton. Why Barton? I wonder if the public still remembered Clara Barton, founder of the American Red Cross? This would make the medical connection in people's minds; nurses, you will remember, used bandages the Kimberly-Clark Company made for soldiers in World War I as menstrual pads, giving birth to Kotex.
Manufacturers loved, and love, to use medical authority, as we will see in the Camelia ad below, from Germany, where people respected it even more.
The Camelia ad is below.


Many thanks to Professor Domenico Pecorari, Director of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Policlinic Hospital of the Medical School, University of Verona, Italy, for sending me the valuable article "Befleckte Weiblichkeit - Spuren tradierter Menstruationsmythen in der Werbung für Produkte der weiblichen intimhygiene," by Dr. med. Jael Backe of the Universitätsfrauenklinik Würzburg, Germany, published in Gynäkologisch-geburtshilfliche Rundschau 1997; 37:30-38. The above Camelia ad came from that article.


(Left) Finger-wagging Schwester Thekla (also in a 1928 Dutch booklet) (Schwester means sister in German, the word used for nurse in that country - in full it's Krankenschwester - , but which Americans use for nun; nurses' uniforms are related to nun's habits, which remind us of the origins of hospitals) advised Germans to buy the disposable pad Camelia, a product available five years after Kotex, and which, like Kotex, exists today. (But Kimberly-Clark, the maker of Kotex, bought Camelia in 1998). The word Camelia is one of a long line of flower associations in menstruation and hygiene advertising, and also in popular culture. (See a flower's use in menstrual cup advertising, the shape of a tulip mimicking the cup.)
(Germans, I unnecessarily note, wag their fingers from left to right and back again, whereas Americans move the finger away and towards their bodies.)
Kotex and other companies used the cross - note again the connection between medicine and the Christian development of hospitals - on its boxes and in advertising. This encouraged the connection between sickness and menstruation in the public mind, as well as the authority of doctors and nurses. And did it - Good Grief! - subliminally suggest that it was the Christian thing to use?
Anyway, the words above Camelia translate as "Enables simplest and discrete destruction."
A woman who bought Camelia found a slip of paper in the box. When she needed more pads, she silently handed the slip to a store clerk; signs in drug stores advised women to ask for a female clerk when buying Camelia. The slip said, "Please sell me a box of Camelia."
American women buying Modess pads could also present a slip to clerks they clipped from ads.
See Mary Pauline Callender's Marjorie May menarche booklets for girls.

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