Menstrual pad suspenders!
See how a woman wore a belt in a Dutch ad. See a classy 1920s ad for a belt and the first ad (1891) MUM has for a belt.
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CONTRIBUTE to Humor, Words and expressions about menstruation and Would you stop menstruating if you could?
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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.

 

Belts to hold menstrual pads, part 1 (part 2)

Women wore commercial belts at least from the latter part of the nineteenth century (the earliest ad the museum has is an American one dated 1891). Because self-adhesive pads became available only in the early 1970s, if women used pads, they had to wear belts, suspenders, "sanitary panties," (underpants with hooks or tabs or something else to hold the pad in place) - or invent some way of getting the pad to stay in place.

Companies sold probably hundreds of varieties of belts in the past hundred years, but the industry almost disappeared in the early 1970s with the advent of pads with adhesive (Stayfree and New Freedom).

See my drawing of a mid-19th century belt and pad in the collection of the Valentine Richmond History Center in Richmond, Virginia, U.S.A.

See also the Kotex "featherweight" menstrual pad belt in a tube.

Ad for New Victoria Protector, late 19th, early 20th centuries?, Chicago Specialty Co., U.S.A.

Ad for an Australian Kotex belt, 1956.

Many belts, sanitary aprons & underpants from the Butler, Smyth and Savage catalogs, early 20th century.

See 3 ads for American belts, 1949 and 1955, and a booklet for girls by Beltx.

Italian washable pad, about 1900.

See how a woman wore a belt in a Dutch ad. See how women wore a belt (and in a Swedish ad). See Australian belts and pads, about 1900, and Chinese belts and pad holders. Chinese pad and panty pad, Japanese pad, older. American, Sears, 1902 & 1908. German washable pads and belt, with case (about 1935-40). Hickory ads for belts, U.S.A.: 1925, 1920s.
Belts, part 2

Kay Cynova, a staff member of the Stuhr Museum, Grand Island, Nebraska, kindly contributed these scans of the next 3 advertisements from the 1897 (American) Sears and Roebuck catalog.

Below, Item 10936 "The Faultless Serviette": This is a disposable pad destined for burning unlike the common washable pads often made of diaper cloth, "birdseye linen." SOMEwhere I have a notice in a medical journal from the late 19th century describing a portable menstrual pad burner that women could take on trips.
See ads for possibly the first American disposable pad and for the first British disposable - maybe.

Below: Not a belt but a menstrual pad.


The belts below are physical objects in the museum.

 

The box at left contains not only the belt (right) but a folder. See everything here and mostly bigger. My guess is that this dates from before the mid-1920s, which I explain here. ("Hoosier" means Indiana, a state in America; it possibly comes from an English dialect.) The donor of the belt generously gave MUM many other items, some below and some to be added later.

 

 

The typography suggests that this stems from the 1930s or 1940s. (American)
The typography indicates a date from the 1930s or 1940s. (Canadian)

 

 

The seller, a medical supply dealer, advertised this as being from the 1940s. See the belt "unfurled," below (click for larger image). (American)
The box is crushed. The picture of the woman probably reflects the "Modess . . . . because" ad campaign, dating this belt between the late 1940s and the early 1970s. A writer says she got one in school in 1964. (American)

 

 

 Above: the belt in the package above. Click on it to enlarge.
The box bears a copyright of 1970.  (American) 
   
   
 This American belts bears a copyright of 1951. See the contents.
 

 

 

The box bears a copyright of 1970.  (American)
The box bears a copyright of 1973. (American)
Below: Back of box
   

NEXT page of belts - Menstrual pad suspenders! See how women wore a belt (and in a Swedish ad).
See a modern belt for a washable pad and a page from the 1946-47 Sears catalog showing a great variety.

© 2007 Harry Finley. It is illegal to reproduce or distribute any of the work on
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