Kotex sells its pads in early vending machines. See a Kotex pad sold in a 1930s vending machine.
See some pad dispensers and ads for pads that come with pouches: New Freedom and Whenever, from the U.S.A., and Camelia, from Germany.
See also the booklets How shall I tell my daughter? (Modess, various dates), Growing up and liking it (Modess, various dates), and Marjorie May's Twelfth Birthday (Kotex, 1928).
And read Lynn Peril's series about these and similar booklets!
See more Kotex items: First ad (1921) - ad 1928 (Sears and Roebuck catalog) - Lee Miller ads (first real person in amenstrual hygiene ad, 1928) - Marjorie May's Twelfth Birthday (booklet for girls, 1928, Australian edition; there are many links here to Kotex items) - Preparing for Womanhood (1920s, booklet for girls; Australian edition) - 1920s booklet in Spanish showing disposal method - box from about 1969 - "Are you in the know?" ads (Kotex) (1949)(1953)(1964)(booklet, 1956) - See more ads on the Ads for Teenagers main page
CONTRIBUTE to Humor, Words and expressions about menstruation and Would you stop menstruating if you could?
Some MUM site links:
homepageMUM 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.


The Museum of Menstruation and Women's Health

Disposal bags for menstrual napkins, page 1 (pages 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8)

Ms Mel Terras, of Christ Church, University of Oxford, England, (when she sent these while studying for her doctorate; Dr Terras is now [2014] at University College London as Director, UCL Centre for Digital Humanities and Professor of Digital Humanities, Department of Information Studies at UCL) kindly sent me five disposal bags she found traveling through Europe; that inspired these pages. I added a few the museum already had from other donors and added many more, including a great many from the gracious Prof Terras. Thanks, Mel!

These bags, of course, women use to hold used pads before they throw them away - not down the toilet, we hope. (Here are some examples of pads companies designed to be flushable - theoretically.) Many women simply wrap toilet paper around used pads before they toss them into the myriad containers designed for that purpose (a future feature on this site).

Note that the European printing colors, below, are reds and browns (and black), whereas the American are as far away from that as possible (with one possible exception). People, including myself, have criticized the menstrual products companies for using the famous blue for showing how pads absorbed menstrual discharge. (Read how the famous American efficiency expert Dr. Lillian Gilbreth also criticized blue on menstrual products packaging, in 1927, which appeared again and again.)

And note the flowers, a frequent companion to menstrual products (here's an example for a menstrual cup).

A Canadian television business program interviewed me inside the museum in the mid-1990s to discuss the colors used on packaging for menstrual products. The woman moderator and I noted that if we extend the reasoning that menstrual products deserve red or brown printing instead of the blue liquid showing pad and tampon absorbency then toilet paper wrapping should be brown and yellow, for feces and urine. Right? The lady and I were doing our best to not burst out laughing at the thought. I wonder if it made it to broadcast.

The bags differ slightly in size; I mostly picture them as the same width for the sake of fit.


 

Picked up in Lincoln, England (late 1990s)
(gift of Ms. Mel Terras, Christ Church, University of Oxford)

 

Picked up in Glasgow, Scotland (late 1990s)
On reverse: Southalls Hygiene Services Ltd
Alum Rock Road, Birmingham B8 3DZ
Tel: 0121-328-9666
(gift of Ms. Mel Terras, Christ Church, University of Oxford)


 

Picked up in Oslo, Norway (late 1990s)
The writing: For better hygiene"
*Stick the used pad/tampon into the bag
*Put the bag into the pad box
(gift of Mel Terras, Christ Church, University of Oxford)

 

American? (1990s) (the words "sanitary napkin" seem uniquely American)
(anonymous gift)
The scale applies to all items on the page.


 

Picked up in Berlin, Germany (late 1990s)
(gift of Mel Terras, Christ Church, University of Oxford)

 

Picked up in Oxford, England (late 1990s)
(gift of Mel Terras, Christ Church, University of Oxford)


 

American (1990s)
(anonymous gift)

 

back of bag at left


 

American (1990s)
from a commercial airplane;
comes with a clean pad
(anonymous gift)

 

back of bag at left


 

American (1990s)
(anonymous gift)
 

Next
Pages 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 of disposal bags. Kotex sells its pads in early vending machines. See a Kotex pad sold in a 1930s vending machine. See some pad dispensers

© 1999-2012 Harry Finley. It is illegal to reproduce or distribute any of the work on this Web site in any manner or medium without written permission of the author. Please report suspected violations to hfinley@mum.org