MUSEUM OF MENSTRUATION AND WOMEN'S
menstrual tampons (1944-1955?, U.S.A.,
International Cellucotton Products Co.,
maker of Kotex menstrual pads, panties, belts, educational booklets)
The name Kotams pops up on
different products at least twice
in tampon history. This is the
Kimberly-Clark had failed in its
early attempts to create
successful tampons under various
company and tampon names (Moderne Woman, fax,
With Kotams, it tried again by
combining the gauze string
of its earlier attempts with Tampax-like
delivery tubes to make
insertion more acceptable to
Americans. American women used
their fingers to insert the
tampons, just as European
women did with o.b.
But this Kotams also failed to
sell well, according to "Kotex,
Kleenex, Huggies: Kimberly-Clark
and the Consumer Revolution in
American Business," 2004, by
Thomas Heinrich and Bob Batchelor.
Kotams appeared later as a stick
tampon in two versions (first
promoted by some beautiful ads.
Kimberly-Clark absorbed (sorry)
the International Cellucotton
Products Company in 1955 but the
Heinrich & Batchelor book
writes that Kotams appeared in
1960. Unless the ICPC kept its
name I can't explain the
discrepancy in dates, which
explains my uncertainty about the
dates of this Kotams.
The U.S. Patent and Trademark
Office reports that the first
commercial use of the (now "dead")
"Kotams" was 1944. A
second filing for the name
as its first commercial use.
Kimberly-Clark, ICPC's mommy,
filed both claims. I suspect this
is the 1944 Kotams because of
the name International
Cellucotton Products Co. on the
I thank Procter
& Gamble for donating the
NEXT | instructions tampon
battered box - Don't look
at me! That's the way it
arrived at MUM - measures 2 1/2 x
4 3/4 x 1 3/4" (6.5 x 12.5 x 4.5
cm). The facing side is identical.
The two sides are identical.
has the silver color and no text.
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