New this week: Cardui patent medicine - Dr. Grace Thompson's search for patients (1912) - DIRECTORY OF OTHER TOPICS

Call Your Congressman About the Proposed Tampon Safety and Research Act! Here's How and Why.

Sorry for the Nonexistence of MUM for Three Days!

My Internet provider apologized to me for forgetting to pay my domain renewal fee to WorldNIC, the company that sells domain names - in this case, This made it impossible to see this site and for me to get e-mail. No one notified me, of course, that this was going to happen.

Boy, was I mad!

Now I will pay the fee directly every two years to WorldNIC, avoiding uninterested folks in the middle.

If you unsuccessfully e-mailed me in the past week, please send 'em again!

Contributors Expand the Museum!

Many generous people have recently sent items to this museum:

SarahAnne Hazlewood, in Oregon, U.S.A., kindly sent 11 - count 'em, 11 - cartons of items relating to women's health, including the patent medicine Cardui and associated documents, and the 1912 appeal for patients of Dr. Grace Feder Thompson, of San Francisco, both of which I am showing this week. With this amazing gift MUM can show artifacts from additional areas of women's health, and increase its holdings in other categories.

Maribel Cruz, of Union City, New Jersey, U.S.A., sent her thesis Pay as You Flow: The Commodification of the Menstruating Female, and sent boxes of tampons from Australia and Japan. It would be great to incorporate some of this information into the exhibits!

Nadja Gragert, of Berlin, Germany, sent her thesis about the development of the German menstrual products industry and videos of German television advertising. The thesis contains advertising and company descriptions dating to the beginning of the 20th century. I hope to also show this material in the future.

Megan Hicks, Curator of Health and Medicine, and Morgen Lee, of the largest museum in Australia, the Powerhouse (Sydney), sent copies of old Australian advertising for tampons. Ms. Hicks has previously sent copies of the 1920s booklets Marjorie May's Twelfth Birthday and Preparing for Womanhood, copies of ads for old Australian menstrual products and douche equipment, and documents about Gynaeseal, an Australian menstrual cup with applicator, plus other valuable information.

Tomoko Maeno, of Japan, sent part of her thesis about the Japanese menstrual products industry, which contains much interesting Japanese advertising from the early part of this century. I will show some of this advertising in the future.

An anonymous English donor sent copies of many older ads from England.

An anonymous French donor again sent many French ads for menstrual hygiene products, and also booklets about women's health from England and Germany.

Tambrands, former maker of Tampax tampons, last fall sent this museum five large boxes of duplicate items in their archives, and Ultrafem, the maker of the Instead menstrual cup, three weeks ago sent MUM a promotional dress made of hundreds of Instead cups.

MUM is a much better museum because of this generosity, and can therefore serve you, O Visitors, in unique ways. Thank you very much, benefactors!

Researcher to Investigate Early Tampons

It looks like a Harvard student will visit MUM this summer to investigate the beginning of the tampon industry in the United States. This museum has very early tampons, possibly the first ever made. We hope to work with the Smithsonian Institution, about eight miles from MUM, which has a small but valuable collection of tampons.

The beginning of this industry has always fascinated me, and on this site last year I offered $500 to anybody finding the earliest reference to a commercial tampon, and to the fax tampon, possibly the first commercial tampon. People must be prosperous; no one even took me up on the offer, which I could hardly believe.

Writers in this field often mistakenly believe that Tampax sold the first tampon, in 1936. There were at least two earlier tampons. But Tampax made the first one with an applicator, also in the MUM collection.

Another Harvard student might join her, or work from Cambridge, helping to put your MUM in order.

I Need More Health Info on Menstrual Cups

As I mentioned last week, please send me any information about, or references to, the safety of menstrual cups!

Your MUM Does Her Taxes Next Week, in the Nick of Time

Savor the rest of the museum site next week while your MUM gives the feds their due. She won't have time to put new items up for your edification and scrutiny this coming weekend.

Check back 19 April!

Letters to Your MUM

"She said that I was not to try something that new and experimental!"

I just wanted to thank you for making this informational site. I found it through a link from GladRags page.

It is amazing how little women will talk about menstruation! I hated tampons and pads. Then I heard about Instead and wanted to try it. I asked mom if she had seen it in the stores and she was shocked! She said that I was not to try something that new and experimental! Can you believe it! Anyway, I went and got some Instead on my own and totally love them! My mom still totally refuses to consider "putting some weird plastic cup from God knows where" into her body.

Anyway, the site is great! It has a lot of valuable information on it! I must admit though that I was surprised a man started the museum. But, anyway, I just wanted to let you know that I think that the site is great. I think you should keep up the good work! [Thank you, and I will!]

"There is no statistical correlation between menstruation & bear attacks."

When I wrote Backcountry Bear Basics: The Definitive Guide to Avoiding Unpleasant Encounters (Mountaineers Books, Seattle) I wanted to end the "menstrual myth" once and for all, so it's the longest chapter in the book.

There is no statistical correlation between menstruation & bear attacks.

There's no scientific evidence that menstrual odors are more attractive than the odor of mosquito repellent. If a person slept in a tent full of fish, the attractiveness of the odor of the fish might overcome the bear's caution around the odor of humans, but menstrual odors? Mosquito repellent? A bit of hot chocolate you spilled on your shirt? No.

There's no legitimate reason for menstruating women to be concerned about bears. Enjoy the woods.

Dave Smith

New this week: Cardui patent medicine - Dr. Grace Thompson's search for patients (1912) - DIRECTORY OF OTHER TOPICS

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