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.

Society sanitary napkins (American? 1920s-1930s?)

(See the main discussion and box.)

The first Kotex pad and this Society pads have identical dimensions, probably necessary to fit contemporary belts (and see some from the Sears, Roebuck catalog).

As far as I know, American women's underpants at this time were loose leg, meaning there was no way for them to hold a pad against the vulva in order to absorb the menstrual blood. And of course many underpants had no crotch at all at the turn of the century and before, being essentially two loose tubes around the thighs joined at the waist. To the best of my knowledge, briefs for everyday wear - see the first in the Sears, Roebuck catalog - appeared first in America in the mid-1930s. But pads without belts didn't appear until the early 1970s. I do not know why they took such a long time. Perhaps the technology wasn't available. A Swedish ad from the 1970s shows the difference.

The gauze covering, below, is coarse and probably uncomfortable. It could have rubbed and injured the vulva and thighs, a common problem the pad companies addressed in decades of advertising. (See a medical report mentioning this and other problems with pads - among others, that doctors were worried that women would be sexually aroused by a pad's moving around. Heavens to Betsy!).

See an older, washable pad, from Italy.
Below: The absorbent pad, with a gauze "tail" on each end (folded across the pad in this picture, and thus hard to see, just as they appeared in the box). Self-adhesive pads appeared in the early 1970s. They could be smaller because of better material and the lack of tails.


Below: Women pinned this gauze "tail," one of two per pad, to a belt, front and back. The pad is the white object at the bottom.

See the main discussion and box.

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