See more Kotex items: First ad (1921; scroll to bottom of page) - ad 1928 (Sears and Roebuck catalog) - Lee Miller ads (first real person in a menstrual 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:
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.


Kotex box and menstrual pad, copyrighted 1974 (U.S.A.)
Box, below

This pad was designed for a belt, although self-adhesive pads had already appeared (for example, Kotex's New Freedom). Some women preferred the older style pads, and women used these after bearing a child; they absorbed the escaping fluid and material from the vagina. Only in 2001 did Kotex stop making them.

The rose is now yellow, in contrast to the white one of the late 1950s and 1960s. Manufacturers often associate flowers with menstruation, evoking "femininity," a nice smell (replacing the out-of-favor odor of menses), and the word flowers, an old one meaning menstruation - but almost no one would know that today. (See a cup-shaped tulip advertising a menstrual cup.)

As I wrote on the page for the 1960s Kotex, most American woman want to wind up smelling like a rose, not menstrual blood! But at least at times in the past - and maybe today in places - women allowed others to smell and see her menstrual blood as a sign of fertility and to sexually attract others, as extraordinary this may seem to most North Americans and Europeans (and to me just a couple of years ago). (The English feminist Selina Cooper writes (towards the bottom of the page) about this among English girls in a cotton mill around 1900, where straw covered the floor to absorb their escaping blood.) This fact lends credence to my suspicion that many or most women in Europe and North America prior to about 1900 bled into their clothing - that is, they did not use rags or tampons or anything else to absorb and conceal the blood. Times sure have changed - why? Read more about this.

See the pad.


Front of box. The box measures 8" x 7.35" x 2.75" (about 20.6 x 18.6 x 7 cm).


Back of box (only the part containing text)


Sides of box, reduced to show only text.
At right: Kotex had pioneered the explanatory booklets for girls (see a cover from 1948) - and also for women - produced by pad companies.
Read most of one of their first booklets for girls (1928), and see an ad for mothers afraid to broach the subject with their daughters, about 99 percent of mothers, that is.
At left:
Kotex had sold tampons since the 1930s (for example, Fibs - and see roughly contemporary ads for Kotex stick tampons and a later stick tampon).


Bottom of box, full area

See the pad. See a Kotex pad probably from the 1930s and one from the early 1960s.

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