Read an earlier discussion of this: What
did European and American women use
for menstruation in the 19th century and before?
Digest Leaflet (Personal
Products, 1966, U.S.A.)
Below is a Personal Digest leaflet
from 1966, published by Personal
Products, maker of Modess menstrual
sanitary belt and panty industry
in the United States almost
disappeared in the early 1970s
because of the introduction of adhesive
menstrual pads, which stick to
the crotch of panties with an
adhesive strip. Millions of
women breathed a sigh of relief. But
Kotex reintroduced a disposable
panty recently (1998), I'm sure in
response to a real need.
Menstruation can be unexpected and
messy. Men are lucky in many ways.
I suspect women found this leaflet
in stores next to the Modess boxes,
or perhaps in the boxes.
Pads attached to belts twisted
easily (that's called "roping") and
moved out of
place. The pads chaffed
women's legs and vulvas (see the Dickinson
Report from 1945). Pads in
that earlier era were thick and long
(up to 20", almost 51 cm). The
original Kotex pad (with tabs for
pinning onto a belt or clothing)
from 1921 was 22" long
(almost 56 cm.)!
Companies and catalogs sold scores
of kinds of belts from at least the
last century to the present day.
The Sears, Roebuck catalog even once
offered a fancy trousseau
sanitary napkin belt, I
assume to be given to a woman about
to marry! Here are some belts the
the former Tambrands, maker of
Tampax tampons, for the Personal
Below: The two
sides of the 4-panel, 10 7/8 x 4 1/2" (27.5 x
11.4 cm) paper leaflet.
When folded, the underexposed lady (far right,
top) appears on front.
See Meds tampons from this era and Modess
See more Personal
Digest leaflets (here & here) and covers of many. See
belts and pads on
mannequins at MUM, actual belts in this museum,
panties offered by Modess in the
1960s, and the directory of underwear.
Modess ad, June 1929 ("Never
mind, Mother, you'll learn") - Modess ad about concealing
pad, 1930 - Modess ad
compared with Kotex ad, 1931 - ad, 1931 - wrapped Modess pad
for dispenser, 1930s? - Ad, U.K., 1936 - True or False? ad in
The American Girl magazine, January 1947 - Australian ad, 1957
- ad (1956) with
"Modess . . . . because" ad incorporated into
it - ad for
"Growing Up and Liking It" booklet (1963,
Modess) - actress Carol
Lynley in "How shall I tell my
daughter?" booklet ad (1955) - Modess . . . . because
ads (many dates) - French
ad, 1970s? - ad,
French, 1972, photo by David Hamilton - Personal Digest leaflets
(6), 1966-67: describe Modess products - How Modess Sanitary
Napkins Began: excerpts from"A Company
That Cares: One Hundred Year Illustrated
History of Johnson and Johnson"
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