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 Dcovers the stretch material
Masturbation |
Media coverage of MUM |
Menarche booklets for girls and parents |
Miscellaneous |
Museum future |
Norwegian menstruation exhibit |
Odor |
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 |
Menstrual products safety |
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.

The Museum of Menstruation and Women's Health

Menstrual pad (Kotex?) and holder, 1920s-1930s?

A Canadian offered MUM this holder and pad. He found it with items labeled from the early 1930s in the possessions of a woman in Canada who died in 2001. He said she was in her forties in the 1940s.

Through Sherlock-Holmes-like reasoning I believe the absorbent part of the pad is made of Cellucotton and therefore a Kotex product. (See this reasoning in the lowest picture.) In the 1930s women could buy Kotex in Canada as well as in many countries world wide. Look at Kotex booklets from Canada, Australia and America from the 1930s. And see how-to-dispose-of-Kotex instructions from 1928.

The holder is another question. The words "DO NOT PIN GAUZE" stamped on one end make it seem commercial as do the three types of fabric and careful stitching - at least it seems to me. But there's nothing on the holder to indicate who made it.

Women had big problems with twisting and slipping pads, and discomfort - and still do -, and companies have often tried to improve their comfort.

See many other holders from the 19th through the end of the 20th century.

Below: The holder from the far ends of the pink sections measures 19 7/8" (50.4 cm).
The pad at the center of the picture measures 3 3/8" wide (here, high) - 8.6 cm

and is about 3/8" (0.9 cm)  thick. I took a section of the covering off to look
at the filling - see the last picture, below.

Below: Back of the holder. A stretch material connects the pink end at right to the canvas-like fabric holding the body of the menstrual pad.
Below: Pinning gauze wouldn't hold the pad well. The end of the menstrual pad covers the stretch material.
Below: The brown material is a tough canvas-like material, the pink much softer and more flexible.
The pad mesh covering (top) is coarse like that of early Kotex
. Read how college students complained about similar  pads!
Below: My conscience, although troubled, allowed me to cut through the gauze covering (the "strings"
you see) to find out what the furshlugginer pad was made of, thereby giving a clue to
who made it.
AHA! Many discrete layers of material sitting on top of each other, each looking like
the magnificent enlargement below, reveal themselves to be (I think) Cellucotton, the cellulose
Kimberly-Clark made into bandages
for the allies in the First World War and afterwards turned
into Kotex! If it were cotton, as in Modess pads, we would see long tangles of cotton.

MORE pads, tampons

© 2011 Harry Finley. It is illegal to reproduce or distribute work on this Web site in any manner or
medium without written permission of the author. Please report suspected violations to hfinley@mum.org