Johnson & Johnson company history (excerpts): A Company That Cares (1927)
report to Johnson & Johnson about Modess - Modess newspaper ads 1927-28 - "Silent Purchase" ad, June 1928 - ad, 1928 - "Modernizing Mother" ads: #1, February 1929 ("Mother . . . don't be quaint");

Modess Growing Up and Liking It (complete booklets: 1944, 1949, 1957, 1963, 1964, 1970, 1972, 1976, 1978, 1991

Modess "Teacher's kit" (complete, early 1950s, Personal Products Corp., U.S.A.)

Modess pamphlet introducing its Meds tampons to the world (1930s)

More booklets and kits.

CONTRIBUTE to Humor, Words and expressions about menstruation and Would you stop menstruating if you could?
Some MUM site links:
MUM address & What does MUM mean? |
Email the museum |
Privacy on this site |
Who runs this museum?? |
Amazing women! |
Art of menstruation (and awesome ancient art of menstruation) |
Artists (non-menstrual) |
Asbestos |
Belts |
Bidets |
Birth control and religion |
Birth control drugs, old |
Birth control douche & sponges |
Founder bio |
Bly, Nellie |
MUM board |
Books: menstruation & menopause (& reviews) |
Cats |
Company booklets for girls (mostly) directory |
Contraception and religion |
Contraceptive drugs, old |
Contraceptive douche & sponges |
Costumes |
Menstrual cups |
Cup usage |
Dispensers |
Douches, pain, sprays |
Essay directory |
Examination, gynecological (pelvic) (short history) |
Extraction |
Facts-of-life booklets for girls |
Famous women in menstrual hygiene ads |
Feminine napkin, towel, pad directory |
Founder/director biography |
Gynecological topics by Dr. Soucasaux |
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Links |
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Media coverage of MUM |
Menarche booklets for girls and parents |
Miscellaneous |
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Norwegian menstruation exhibit |
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Olor |
Pad, towel, napkin directory |
Patent medicine |
Poetry directory |
Products, some current |
Puberty booklets for girls and parents|
Religion |
Religión y menstruación |
Your remedies for menstrual discomfort |
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Sanitary napkin, towel, pad directory |
Seguridad de productos para la menstruación |
Science |
Shame |
Slapping, menstrual |
Sponges |
Synchrony |
Tampon directory |
Early tampons |
Teen ads directory |
Tour of the former museum (video) |
Towel, pad, sanitary napkin directory |
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 |
Read 10 years (1996-2006) of articles and Letters to Your MUM on this site.
Leer la versión en español de los siguientes temas: Anticoncepción y religión, Breve reseña - Olor - Religión y menstruación - Seguridad de productos para la menstruación.


Cartoon ad
, September 1934, Johnson & Johnson company
McCall's magazine (U.S.A.)

Can these ladies be bought??

They chatter the following year about Kotex, Modess's competitor, apparently without shame for the betrayal!

And with no inhibition about discussing menstruation itself, something museum visitors told me repeatedly they avoided.

But the dialogue reflects what admen called 2 C's in a K and maybe still do: 2 cunts in a kitchen. Crude but it was man's world.

So, OK, there are differences between the faces in the two ads but they have the WASPish cast so favored then.

As I said about another cartoon ad there's no hint of blacks or Latinos or fat or ugly people although blacks might be servants.

But this was typical throughout American publications - of course not ones for African-Americans although those women usually had Caucasian-flavored looks. Blacks themselves often preferred those along with lighter skin, common today. So I read, even in Africa.

Below: Excluding the headline, this photocopy of the
black-and-white ad measures about 4 x 10.5" (10.2 x 26.7 cm)
and fills half the page.

American theaters - er, theatres - sometimes called themselves the Bijou, jewel in French, implying cultural elevation. Sue's menstrual pad irritates her so they settle on what might be the lower-class vaudeville house behind them. The plays and movies (and 1861 novel) named East Lynne excited women with their stories of a rich man's bored wife; Cimarron beat it for the 1931 Outstanding Production (i.e., best picture) Academy Award.

Chafing has undoubtedly bothered women for millennia; Dr. Lillian Gilbreth talks about it in her famous report. Pads were huge at the time of this ad.

The U.S. Patent & Trademark Office reports that Modess-maker Johnson & Johnson registered the trademark Zobec for a surgical dressing in 1927 and had used it in commerce since the previous year. This company and similar ones often produced both menstrual pads and bandages, most famously Kimberly-Clark's Kotex.

When I started researching menstrual products in that office in the early 1990s the paper copies of both kinds of things were boxed in the same area of the room and maybe still are.                                                               

Traveling and vacations were tough for menstruating women in the years before the first commercial tampons. In an earlier era of mostly washable pads, how would a woman wash and dry her reusable napkin?

Johnson & Johnson company history (excerpts): A Company That Cares (1927)
Modess newspaper ads 1927-28 - "Silent Purchase" ad, June 1928 - ad, 1928 - "Modernizing Mother" ads: #1, February 1929 ("Mother . . . don't be quaint")

"Teacher's kit" (complete, early 1950s, Personal Products Corp., U.S.A.)

Modess pamphlet introducing its Meds tampons to the world (1930s)

© 2014 Harry Finley. It is illegal to reproduce or distribute any of the work on this Web site
in any manner or medium without written permission of the author. Please report suspected
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