See more Kotex items: First ad (1921; scroll to bottom of page) - ad, 1928 (Sears and Roebuck catalog) - Lee Miller ads (first real person in a menstrual hygiene ad, 1928) - Marjorie May's Twelfth Birthday (booklet for girls, 1928, Australian edition; there are many links here to Kotex items) - Preparing for Womanhood (1920s, booklet for girls; Australian edition) - 1920s booklet in Spanish showing disposal method - box from about 1969 - "Are you in the know?" ads (Kotex) (1949)(1953)(1964)(booklet, 1956) - See more ads on the Ads for Teenagers main page
The first Kotex magazine ad campaign
CONTRIBUTE to Humor, Words and expressions about menstruation and Would you stop menstruating if you could?
Some MUM site links:
homepageMUM 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.

The Museum of Menstruation and Women's Health

Greatest of all Kotex inventions

Kotex ad, The Household Magazine
June 1934, U.S.A., probably

Before we get to the "Greatest of all Kotex inventions" and in the spirit of Kotex Depression fun further down this page let's start with some 1933 Kotex gossip and non-menstrual knee-slappers in the company magazine, Cooperation. Like, what's sparking? Figure this one out: "Olive Poquette [of the Pad Department] is sporting a new sparkler; it won't be long now, Olive." Was she pregnant? Did sparking (p.12) produce a sparkler (p.24)?

So, - is that enough to chase the Great Depression blues? - on to yellowing and deteriorating paper, which you see below and can read about even further down.

The year before, another glamourosity from Kotex's salon strutted the Equalizer (below) (U.S. patent 1, 863, 333). Maybe Kotex dreamed glamour softened both a period and the Great Depression, then sinking the nation. Other companies did too.

Here's a 1930s non-Wondersoft Kotex pad and box, probably older than this ad.

The first Kotex magazine ad campaign.
Early 1920s Kotex ads for newspapers.
Display Kotex on the counter so women don't have to (blush) ask for it.
Kotex on the side of a train
Tampax gives dealers advice on how to display its tampons (1936)
Counter display for the Kotex tampon Fibs (1930s-40s)

Below: The black-and-white full-page ad measures 10 7/8 x 13 1/2" (27.6 x 34.3 cm).
The paper, newsprint, is yellow and deteriorating.
Below: The easy, swishy brush strokes (of guache? oil?) of her dress characterize the relaxed painting style.
Below: The text on the side of the box. The company calls itself "Kotex Company," one of its names through its history.
Below: We know Kotex people can joke (near top of page) but can they take one? What if the Kotex beauty above and below wore a RED flower, a Camellia? In certain, er, quarters that would mean she's, um, menstruating. Which quarters, you ask? All questions answered here.

Below, left: NRA means National Recovery Administration, not the National Rifle Association although that would have been very interesting, wouldn't it? In 1934 the Kotex publication Cooperation mentioned the NRA in a dismal report on the nation's - and Kotex's -  economy. Wikipedia says, "[NRA] was the primary New Deal agency established by U.S. president Franklin D. Roosevelt (FDR) in 1933. The goal was to eliminate 'cut-throat competition' by bringing industry, labor and government together to create codes of 'fair practices' and set prices. . . . The NRA, symbolized by the Blue Eagle, was popular with workers. Businesses that supported the NRA put the symbol in their shop windows and on their packages, though they did not always go along with the regulations entailed. Though membership to the NRA was voluntary, businesses that did not display the eagle were very often boycotted, making it seem mandatory for survival to many." The Great Depression crippled America and the world though you wouldn't know it from some Kotex ads.

From Wikipedia.

From this 1934 ad.
About the yellowing, fragile paper: In 1844, Canadian inventor Charles Fenerty and German F.G. Keller independently developed processes for pulping wood fibers using alum, which acidified the fibers. Older (and recent) wood pulp book and newspaper pages crumble after a few years unlike those made from rags (cotton). Alum is " a variety of aluminium sulfate salts that is significantly acidic. Alum was added to paper to assist in sizing,[16] making it somewhat water resistant so that inks did not 'run' or spread uncontrollably. Early paper makers did not realize that the alum they added liberally to cure almost every problem encountered in making their product would eventually be detrimental." (All information and quotes from Wikipedia.)

Kotex, by the way, made its pads (and tampons) from this wood pulp (Cellucotton), competitor Modess made its from cotton - points of contention in the companies' advertising.

See more Kotex items: First ad (1921; scroll to bottom of page) - ad, 1928 (Sears and Roebuck catalog) -
Lee Miller ads (first real person in a menstrual hygiene ad, 1928)

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