Menstrual pad suspenders!
Menstrual panties.
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.
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.
More ads for napkin belts: Sears, 1928 - modern belts - modern washable - Modess, 1960s
Actual belts in the museum
More ads for napkin belts: Sears, 1928 - modern belts - modern washable - Modess, 1960s
Actual belts in the museum
See the Kotex stick tampon.
See also a Saba Ad, Pursettes ad, Kotex "Are you in the know?" ads (1949)(1953)(1964), Ads for Teens, and some older Kotex ads
And, of course, the first Tampax AND - special for you! - the American fax tampon, from the early 1930s, which also came in bags.
See a Modess True or False? ad in The American Girl magazine, January 1947, and actress Carol Lynley in "How Shall I Tell My Daughter" booklet ad (1955) - Modess . . . . because ads (many dates).
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.


Just Between Us . . . (Beltx, 1961, U.S.A.)
Booklet for girls about menstrual products

WHOA! What company would actually use RED in discussing menstruation? In America, very few. It might remind women of, um, menstruation, rather than little birdies, flowers, daintiness, and smelling like a rose rather than - well, we dare not mention that. (Smelling like menstrual blood was actually a way to snare men in at least one factory in England. And Americans think women would never dare bleed into their clothing. So, what causes menstrual odor?)

See a rare use of red in early menstrual packaging. And see an ad for Beltx and the belt itself.

Betty Kay - that's her on the cover, below - must have the nuttiest eyes in menstrual products! And she's smiling! This has to be the boldest attempt ever to combine cheerfulness - very American, smiling at everything - with PMS/menstruation. (The naturalized American artist Saul Steinberg said Americans look serious only when looking at art and when conversing about, or in the presence of, the dead. Americans wear masks, he said, and he made masks for every occasion - and wore them! But I can testify that even at viewings of bodies in funeral homes Americans will doggedly smile.) The Dutch contributor wrote about the eyes:

The girl on these pages has very strange eyes, as if they were blinded by a flash, maybe the result of the atomic era with the trials of A- and H-bombs? :). Or was that the look of the sixties?

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

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.
See the complete 1950 edition.
I thank again the Dutch contributor of many, many items to MUM for scans of this booklet!
Below left: The Dutch contributor writes that the booklet measures 13 x 18.5 centimeters, about 5 1/8" x 7 5/16". The lady's nutty eyes perfectly match the use of red just as her smile matches the butterfly and flowers: menstruation versus concealment (of feeling as well as menstruation itself).

Right: Look at the similar eyes of the Mad Hatter (from Alice in Wonderland in a late 20th-century version) on a wrapper for - how appropriate! - the hallucinogenic drug LSD, probably from the American 1970s. But LSD spun his eyes in opposite directions. (I lifted this from an article about LSD wrappers from Spiegel online, the German news magazine site. Now we're even: the magazine had lifted my scan of the packaging of the early birth-control pill Enovid-E.)

And both are smiling, making them even more unnerving. But at least Betty's not drooling.

Stay out of their ways!

Below: The inside front cover. Putting quotes around grown-up is the first of many such violations of one of Strunk and White's Elements of Style rules, that of overuse of quotation marks. They emphasize cutesiness and fit right in with the flowers and birdies and butterflies in trying to conceal unpleasant aspects of menstruation - for most women, anyway. Girls see through this pretty quickly. But see a flower used not to euphemize menstruation but to announce it!

NEXT pages 11 12 13 14 15 inside back cover - See the complete 1950 edition.
Many actual 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.
Menstrual panties.

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