See other o.b. ads: French
(ooo.ooo.b., 1989) - German (early
1950s) - German
(1970s) - German
nude (1970s) - French
(1989) - German
See a Modess True
or False? ad in The American Girl
magazine, January 1947, and actress Carol Lynley in
"How Shall I Tell My Daughter" booklet ad
(1955) - Modess . . .
. because ads (many dates).
o.b. (obé) menstrual tampons,
highly absorbent, Switzerland,
Witty cover design! Germans, at
least, pronounce ob as oh-bay and
I suspect the French do, too. And
obé would sound the same unless it
came out oh-bay A (long American
A). I know that Germans find Swiss
German hard to understand, so
maybe a different pronunciation is
so maybe it's more of a visual
play. And the é, of
course, stands for économique,
French for economical.
Much later, an ad agency -
French? - tricked up o.b., making
the two letters, tiny like the
tampon, expand to a large number
to show the number of women who
used o.b. Witty!
By the end of the decade highly
absorbent tampons would be big
news because of toxic shock (more
here about Rely
What does o.b. mean?
Two more Swiss tampons, maybe: Sanpax
Tambrands, former maker of
Tampax tampons (now part of
Procter & Gamble), kindly
donated the box as part of a large gift
from its archives.
Someone at Tampax annotated the
label. The French reads "economy
box." The box measures 5" x
2.0625" x 4.25" (12.6 x 5.2 x 2.6
The German reads the same as the
French, top picture, but the price
is still in franc (Fr.) - but not
the French, the Swiss.
free pocket pouch."
The city "Basel" in the address
gave away its Swiss origin and
intended market. The company,
headquartered in Germany at the
time - the American company
Johnson & Johnson would buy it
shortly - probably had
distributers throughout the world.
"High absorbency" in the three
languages of Switzerland (Italian
at lower right). I wonder if a
smaller Italian market (Latin
conservatism about using tampons)
is the reason these are the only -
but important - Italian words on
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