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? |
Email the museum |
Privacy on this site |
Who runs this museum?? |
Amazing women! |
Art of menstruation (and awesome ancient art of menstruation)|
Artists (non-menstrual) |
Asbestos |
Belts |
Bidets |
Birth control and religion |
Birth control drugs, old |
Birth control douche & sponges |
Founder bio |
Bly, Nellie |
MUM board |
Books: menstruation & menopause (& reviews) |
Cats |
Company booklets for girls (mostly) directory |
Contraception and religion |
Contraceptive drugs, old |
Contraceptive douche & sponges |
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 |
Panties directory \
Patent medicine |
Poetry directory |
Products, some current |
Puberty booklets for girls and parents |
Religion |
Religión y menstruación |
Your remedies for menstrual discomfort |
Menstrual products safety |
Seguridad de productos para la menstruación |
Science |
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.
© 2009 Harry Finley. It is illegal to reproduce or distribute work on this Web site in any manner or medium without written permission of the author. Please report suspected violations to hfinley@mum.org

Site directory for the history of commercial disposable menstrual pads
(sanitary napkins, towels) (see also washable menstrual pads)
(Site directories for ads for teens, tampons & company booklets for girls. )

Women have used menstrual pads in various forms since - well, the beginning of the species maybe? The modern commercial disposable pads seem to have started in the late nineteenth century with the Hartmann company (ads below) in Germany and Johnson & Johnson in the U.S.A. Both companies still operate. Kotex and Curads, in the early 1920s, took the torch from J&J. In Germany, Camelia began selling disposables in the mid-1920s. Belts, suspenders and special underpants held these early pads in place. In the early 1970s two revolutions - adhesive strips holding the pad in the crotch of panties and smaller pads (see New Freedom and Stayfree)- changed the industry, essentially killing the belt-and-pad market, to the relief of most women.

(see many American ads at http://scriptorium.lib.duke.edu:80/dynaweb/adaccess/beauty/)

See how women wore a belt (and in a Swedish ad).
Washable pads, which are not included on this page

Site directories for tampons, early American tampons, ads for teens, and underwear.

See what might be the earliest preserved pad and belt in America (1850s) in the collection of the Valentine Richmond History Center in Richmond, Virginia, U.S.A.

 

List of large contributors of items at bottom of page.

Pads, at right (actual pads, advertising, boxes)
(See also Ads for Teens)

 

Always ad text writing contest result, Sassy magazine, May 1994, with the published cartoon ad. The 15-year-old winner's text was drastically altered. - 1997, Dutch ad, (geen uitweg, no exit) woman on desert island.

Birdseye (Bird eye, bird'seye, bird's eye) cloth used for diapers and menstrual pads: ad in the Washington Post, September 11, 1904 (97 years before the infamous "9/11"). You can buy the cloth today.

Camelia (early German disposable still widely sold) The camellia (English spelling of the flower) of the brand has a exceptionally naughty history and would have never been tolerated in the U.S.A. I can imagine the torchlight processions of enraged citizens. Dutch booklet (excerpts) describing the pad and its origin (probably 1928). Ads: 1920s (Germany), 1930s (Germany), 1930s box, etc., terrific 1930s ad!, 1940/41 (Germany), late 1940s-1950s? (France), 1952 (Australia), 1973 Germany (shows the new adhesive pad through panties), 1970s (France), 1990, also 1990 (white pants) (Germany), 1992 (Germany) using white pants, 2003 (Austria)

Carefree (U.K.) panty liner ads, 1993, 1994

Carefree Teens (U.S.A.) Personal Products, colored pantyliners, about 1990 - more of them

Carefree (Germany) (ads) 1990 , pantiliners. 1981, also 1981, 1983. See also Ads for Teens

Cellucotton (Early newspaper reports and later ads) & Kotex menstrual pads (scroll down this page) (U.S.A.)

Chinese pad and belt (2000)

Chinese pad, Anerle

Chinese panty pad, Huitlao

Comforts (U.S.A., 1907) "Sanitary Comforts of Old Blankets," tip in magazine for possibly making washable pads (?)

Compad (U.S.A., 1940s-1960s?) single compressed pad with belt in tiny package

Confetti very long ad for Brevia Confetti menstrual tampons & panty pads (pantiliners) (13 June 1988, Kimberly-Clark Corp., in Elle magazine, France)
See the second Confetti page

Confidets (U.S.A., 1961-1980s), a shaped pad (the first?) and with disposal bags (the first? See other disposal bags), pads & box (1967), ad (1961)

Curads disposable (U.S.A.) ad, 1920

Delicate (U.S.A., mid 1940s-50s?) pads to carry, in a tube - ad, 1953

Diapers compared to pads in Italian magazine - in Tampax ad. And see diaper cloth as menstrual pads.

Dr White's (United Kingdom), ad, 1987 - 3-D ad, with glasses attached, 1989, for Shapes pads - ad contest for Dr White's

Early newspaper ads for pads (U.S.A.). Includes paper (disposable) pads before Kotex, the first really successful brand; washable; and related things like sanitary aprons and belts. See also Generic menstrual pads, below.

Evax (Chile) ad, 1972.

FemoNap (soluble) pictures of box and pads in the Savage catalog (1930)

Fems (U.S.A.) Ad, 1921. See an Australian tampon with the same name, 1967.

Flushable (U.S.A.) menstrual-pad ads: Modess, June 1972 - Sani-Flite, Aug. 1971 - Kotex Simplicity (U.K.) and here - early problems with Kotex

Freedom (Germany), plastic bag with ad, France ad 1990, U.K. ad 1990

Generic menstrual pads (U.S.A.) Pads not identified with a specific name. Ads: 1915 (paper and cloth), 1916 (compressed for traveling, probably disposable), 1914 (normal and compressed, probably for traveling). See also Early newspaper ads for pads, above.

Gotham and Venus compressed sanitary napkins (U.S.A., 1917) Ad: "Splendid while traveling." Probably disposable.

Hartmann's Mulpa 1890s, first German disposable pad

Hartmann's WWs (U.S.A.) Disposable pad, 19th century

Hartmann's Hygienic Towelettes for Ladies (England, 1895)

Hartmann's disposable menstrual pads in the U.K., ads

inSync Miniform (U.S.A.) contemporary small pad fitting between the small lips of the vulva to absorb small amounts of urine and vaginal secretions. Now in a different form. Promotional package, 1997. See also Padette.

Japanese pads and belts, early 20th century: instructions for making the so-called uma (pony or horse, because it resembled in function the device on horses to catch feces).

Junoform Serviettes Periodiques Items in Butler Brothers catalogs starting here (early 20th century)

Junoform Sani-naps Items in Butler Brothers catalogs starting here (early 20th century)

Kotex (U.S.A. See also ads for teens) First magazine ad? January 1921 - the first Kotex ad campaign (1921) - a prototype ("To Save Men's Lives Science Discovered Kotex,") for the first ad, about 1920 - first newspaper ad? (1920) and early newspaper ads - early newspaper articles about Kotex and Cellucotton - ads, 1920s, featuring Kotex spokeswomen, living and maybe fictional - Kotex display at the world's busiest corner: ad page for industry publication, 1920s - putting Kotex on the counter to sell it (drawing) - small b&w ad, 1920s - ads, 1921: January, May, July, November - 1920s: handwritten text for proposed Kotex ad - 1920s: skating and small ad - ad, 15 November 1922 - ad, March 1922 - ad, January 1923 - ad on side of train, 1920s - ad, July 1923, with proof - car ad, Nov. 1923 - "Every mother should tell her daughter this," 1925 ad with 1927 Woodbury soap ad, Louise Brooks look-a-like - March 1926 - "Woman's Greatest Hygienic Handicap" ad, 1927 - ad, January, 1927 - ad, 1927, "Hygienic Freedom Such As Women Never Knew Before" with horse & borzoi - disposing of early pads: Spanish-language booklet & in an English booklet (1928) - Fastening & disposing of 1920s Kotex pads (instructions, 2 sheets) - ad for Kotex dispensers, 1920s - first American menstrual ad with real person: Lee Miller, 1928 - Second real person in a menstrual products ad? October 1928 - newspaper ads, U.S.A., 1928 & 1930 - Pictures of box and pad in Savage catalog, 1930 - Kotex  box and pad, 1930s - ads, 1930 & 1931, compared with Kotex ad - Phantom Kotex ad, with ad for Marjorie May's Twelfth Birthday, a menarche booklet, 1932 - Kotex doesn't show! 3 ads for Kotex menstrual pads, 1927, 1932, 1955 (U.S.A.) - (Kotex?) pad and holder, Canada (1920s-1930s?) - Kotex doesn't show! #2: June 1932 - ad, 1932, for Kotex and Kleenex - Phantom Kotex, July, 1932 - picture in ad of Mary Pauline Callender, author of the Marjorie May booklets (more biographical info) - 1932, Phantom Kotex - leaflet ad for Wondersoft pads, belt, Marjorie May's Twelfth Birthday, 1933 - 1933, Phantom Kotex - box and pads, 1930s? - wrapped Kotex pad for West Disinfecting Company dispenser (mid 1930s) - Two ads on a sewing pattern for women's sports trousers, 1930s - "Cooperation," publication for Kimberly-Clark employees, 1931-34, jokes, sports, gossip, etc. - Ad, 1939 - Ads for Kurb, a pain killer from Kotex - "Why was I born a Woman?" ad, 1941 - Ad for "As One Girl to Another," booklet for girls, 1942 - "Some days I'm happy," ad, March 1942 - Kotex "Are you in the know?" ads - "and I promised Mom --" ad, 1943 - ad, March, 1949 - Without a Shadow of a Doubt ad, 1949 - Walt Disney film The Story of Menstruation (a few frames & link to the film) - ad, 1952 - ad for "Very Personally Yours" booklet, 1952, and for Without a Shadow of a Doubt - ad about concealing pad, 1953 - Ad for Kotex menstrual pads, 1955 - illustrator Jon Whitcomb paints an ad, 1958 - a Kotex doesn't-show ad, 1960 - menarche ad for the Kotex Introductory Kit (Miss Deb pad & belt, etc.), 1966 - pad, box, mid 1960s (see Cybill Shepherd's ads for this, 1970-71) - 1968: Outrageous Kotex offer to put its dispenser where Tampax employees can buy Kotex! The nerve! -  pad, box, 1969, "sci-fi" - ad, 1972, cartwheel - 1981: 2 ads for beltless maxi and mini ("If you almost had an accident ...) - Lightdays Pantiliner ads featuring named women, 1982, 1985, 1986 - 1992: Kotex Curved Maxi pad, Maxi pad, Thin maxi, UltraThin Maxi, OverNites pads, Lightdays pantiliner (and Longs) in Becoming Aware Educational Kit (for girls) - ad showing embarrassed woman and white pants, 1992 - ad, 1992 - panty pad ad with a man and no woman, The Netherlands, 2000 - series of 8 Dutch ads showing only men and pads (2000) - Kotex (and Tampax) boxes for a doll house - Kotex Freedom pads: nude woman (France, 1970s?) and a French ad from 1990 showing white pants, nude women with body paint (Germany, 1990) and another one - Malaysian ad, 2005 - Are you in the know? ads: 1944, 1948, 1949, 1953, 1956 (booklet), 1964
See also the Kotex "Featherweight" menstrual pad belt in a tube

Ladysan (Chile) magazine ad, 1994, for Ladysan Ultra con Alas Protectoras (menstrual pad "ultra" with wings). Procter & Gamble owns the company. I thank a Chilean university student for the scan!

Libra (Australia) ads 1996, 1997 (gifts from C.W., in London, U.K.)

Libresse ad, Poland, ca. 1998 (translated) - 1997 ad for invisible, Dutch, woman in white pants - ad, Dutch, 1998, showing red on a pad - Dutch bus-stop ad in the town of Zwijndrecht, the Netherlands, where the contributor lives, 2006 - telephone-booth ad in London, U.K. - ad praising the men who helped Mølnlycke reach second place in the Netherlands (1978) - booklet describing pads, 2007, the Netherlands

Lightdays Pantiliners (Kotex): ads featuring named women, 1982, 1985, 1986

Lilia (U.K., pad in a tube, 1930s?) Generous gift from Andrew Smith, Wales, United Kingdom.

Lines ad (Italy)

Lister's [Sanitary] Towels (U.S.A., 1890s-1920s?) 4 ads for the first American disposable pad, by Johnson & Johnson

Mene ad (United Kingdon) Ad 1931

Merco (U.S.A., 1919) Ad. Disposable?

Mimosept mini (Denmark) ad, 1970s? - Germany, Mimosept Komfort, 1970s - Denmark, Mimosept Mini, 1972

Modess (Johnson & Johnson, Personal Products Co., U.S.A.) 1927 Gilbreth report to Johnson & Johnson about Modess - newspaper ads 1927-28 - "Silent Purchase" ad, June 1928 - ad, 1928 - "Modernizing Mother" ads: #1, February 1929 ("Mother . . . don't be quaint"); #3 April 1929 ("Don't weaken, Mother"); #5, June 1929 ("Never mind, Mother, you'll learn"); November 1929 ("They're cute, Mother - a cotton nightie is primitive") - ad about concealing pad, 1930 - ad compared with Kotex ad, 1931 - ad, 1931 - wrapped Modess pad for dispenser, 1930s? - Ad, U.K., 1936 - True or False? ad in The American Girl magazine, January 1947 - actress Carol Lynley in "How shall I tell my daughter?" booklet ad (1955) - Australian ad, 1957 - ad (1956) with "Modess . . . . because" ad incorporated into it - ad for "Growing Up and Liking It" booklet (1963, Modess) - - Modess . . . . because ads (many dates) - ad with baby, 1969: "She knows as much about sanitary napkins as you do." and others in the same series, 1970-71 - French ad, 1970s? - ad, French, 1972, photo by David Hamilton - Personal Digest leaflets (7), 1966-67: describe Modess products - How Modess Sanitary Napkins Began: excerpts from"A Company That Cares: One Hundred Year Illustrated History of Johnson and Johnson"

Mosana Early disposable menstrual napkin (towel):
Ad from the United Kingdom, 1913

Mölnlycke (a company) see Libresse

Mulpa, Hartmann's 1890s, first German disposable pad?

Nana (France) one-page ad featuring just a man (1980s?) - two-page spread featuring a different man (1989)

Nefa (the Netherlands) - ad in Panorama magazine, 28 July 1938 - ad, 1954 - ad, 1967 (all gifts from a frequent and generous Dutch contributor)

New Freedom (U.S.A.), an early beltless pad (by Kotex); box bears a copyright of 1970 - ad November 21, 1971, The Milwaukee Journal - ad, U.K, 1973 - ad using named person, 1978 - promotion leaflet (date unknown) - ad, 1985, showing disposal bag

Nikini pads and briefs , ad (U.K., 1970s?)

Nupak (U.S.A., Johnson & Johnson) probably the first disposable J&J pad after the late 19th century and early 20th failures or seldom-bought pads. Ads, 1926, 1927.

Padette (U.S.A.) small menstrual/urine/vaginal secretions pad that fit between the small lips of the vulva; obsolete but there's a market for it as evidenced from the e-mail I've received. See also InSync Miniform.

Pad-n-all (1930s-1940s?, U.S.A.) a combination of pad and attached belt, probably made of cotton (Procter & Gamble donation, 2001)

Paper sanitary napkins (U.S.A., pre-Kotex) Ad in regional newspaper: 1917. Disposable menstrual pads are almost always made of a paper-like substance from trees, but these are identified as "paper."

Pen-Co-Nap (U.S.A., 1929) Ad for the J.C. Penney Co. pad.

Polivia (France) ad, 1989

Prudex Disposable pad from Lydia Pinkham, 1929, U.S.A. The -ex form might come from a competitor, Kotex.

Ria (Germany) panty pads ad with real pad on page

Saba Ad, 1970s (Denmark) - Short history of the Norwegian company (SCA Mølnlycke) - Early ads (1956 & another & another, Norway) - Swedish ad, 1981 - Ad (date?) Swedish, showing hand holding pad in underpants - ad showing a woman exercising while not shifting the pad (1970s, bottom of the page)

SAN-NAP-PAK (U.S.A.) ad, in The American Girl magazine, July 1945 - ad, 1932, in Love Mirror (with a great magazine cover)

Sanisep (Sweden) ad, 1970s, photo of woman in underpants wearing the pad, showing also photo of older belted pad on woman in underpants - Swedish ad (date?) showing wearer's hands holding pad in underpants - Finnish ad (date?) showing hands holding pad in underpants

Silhouettes (German ad, 1988). Pads from Johnson & Johnson.

Slipvast (Dutch ads from the Mønlycke company for Libresse, 1977)

Society (U.S.A.), pad and box, probably 1920s or 1930s

Southalls (spelled also with an apostrophe in different positions) Early disposable menstrual napkin, U.K.: large box with single pad, small box with single pad, (1930s?). Both gifts from Andrew Smith, Wales, United Kingdom.
Southall ads from the United Kingdom, 1888-1913. American ads for Southalls including "A lady you must be or do not read this advertisement." Southall's pad disposal bag

Stayfree (U.S.A., the Netherlands) ad with Cathy Rigby (1982). More ads with Rigby and others (U.S.A., Germany, Hispanic America). Listen to Cathy Rigby speak a radio ad for Stayfree (1982). Ads, U.S.A., 1973, 1974, showing new beltless pad - Ad, 1980, cheerleaders - Ad, 1977, girl skateboarding in white shorts - Ad, 1982, white shorts - Ad, U.S.A., 1984: white sheets as main design element - Ad, 1996, cartwheel in white pants - Dutch ads showing women wearing pad & belt: 1972 (photo), 1973 (drawing) - German, 1976, 1977, diagrams showing blood flow & panties - series of different Stayfree ads, U.S.A. and other countries - 1983 Cathy Rigy ad - 1980 American folder with great visual pun on cover: Your Teenage Menstrual Cycle - Historic Stayfree writes MUM (no, I didn't get paid for this), "STAYFREE® Maxi Pads and Information for Spotting, Bleeding, and Discharge during Pregnancy URL: www.STAYFREE.com Description: Pads can come in handy to protect you throughout many of the bodily changes experienced during pregnancy and the childbirth recovery period. STAYFREE® offers the broadest range of feminine hygiene products available as well as helpful resources and products for your pregnancy. From light menstruation to active bladder control, there's a STAYFREE® solution that fits your needs before, during, and after pregnancy."

Thailand ad, date?

Thong, panty pad for (SCA, a Swedish company)

Travelers, pads for. See also Venus, U.S.A., 1930s-1940s, and ad for Gotham and Venus compressed sanitary napkins, U.S.A., 1917, 1916.

U tampons and pads (Web site, beaver ad)

Valentine: See what might be the earliest preserved pad and belt in America (1850s) in the collection of the Valentine Richmond History Center in Richmond, Virginia, U.S.A.

Vania Ultra, 2-page ad, October 1994, in 20 Ans magazine. Promotes its "unique"use of sphagnum (peat) moss, whose use in commercial pads dates at least as far back as the American SFAG-NA-KINS, 1919.

Venus (U.S.A.), pad-and-underpants ad (June 1936, The American Girl magazine) - compressed sanitary napkins, traveling package (probably 1930s - 1940s) - ad, 1931, for pads - ad for Gotham and Venus compressed sanitary napkins, U.S.A., 1917.

Washable: General subject - India (in Almora, Uttar Pradesh state) - 19th century Italian - 19th century Norwegian - German pattern for home sewing (probably late 19th century) - Snap-on - with underpants - with belt

Whenever (U.S.A.) 1987

White (the color) in a series of menstrual advertising from around the world

Bags for disposing of used pads  
Belts for menstrual pads
Dispensers for menstrual pads  
Disposal unit for used pads Cannon "Concept Unit"
Panties (underpants) for holding menstrual pads  
Powder for menstrual pads

Amolin (U.S.A., from Kotex) produced from the 1920s to probably the 1970s.

Mum deodorant (U.S.A.) produced from at least the 1920s and still sold today (2000)

Quest (U.S.A., 1930s - ?)) two cans and an ad - ad,  probable insert in a box of Kotex, early 1940s?

Early 1940s

Reports

Consumer Report (U.S.A., selections), 1949, rated contemporary American tampons & pads - Macy's, Bloomingdale's, Kotex and others. Photos and narrative about what pads & tampons consisted of and a photo of a pad-testing machine (see Syngyna, a tampon-testing machine). See also the important "Dickinson Report" favoring tampons over pads in the 1945 CR.

"The Dickinson Report" (U.S.A. article comparing pads unfavorably to tampons, 1945, based on a Journal of the American Medical Association article)

Report of [Dr. Lillian] Gilbreth, Inc., (excerpts and discussion), 1 January 1927, to the Johnson & Johnson company. It gathered and studied the wishes of women for menstrual pads and gave recommendations about pads and additional products. It was probably the first such study and led to the development of better pads (the new Modess), which conformed to the wishes of its users.

Selling

Ad-design contest in the United Kingdom

How to sell Kotex page for trade publications, probably early 1920s, U.S.A.

"Your Image is Your Fortune!," Modess sales-hints booklet for stores, 1967 (U.S.A.)

"Your 'Keys' to More Profits," Kotex brochure for retailers. 1960s. (U.S.A.)

Shields to protect clothing

Sanitary apron, U.S.A., 1914 Sears, Roebuck catalog. MUM director Harry Finley commissioned Dr. Ann Wass to reconstruct it for the physical museum.

Sanshe['?]s shields for sanitary napkins, U.S.A., 1940-50s?

Suspenders for pads  

Teachers' guides
(See also educational booklets for girls)

"A Teaching Guide for Menstrual Hygiene" (cover, 1962, Personal Products Corp., U.S.A.)


"A Teacher's Guide to Feminine Hygiene" (cover, 1973, Personal Products Corp., U.S.A.)


"Educational Material on Menstruation furnished by the makers of Tampax" (1966) U.S.A.
Folder with huge number of information sheets, etc.


"Educational Portfolio on Menstrual Hygiene" (1968) U.S.A. Teacher's kit for Modess sanitary napkins, menstrual tampons and panties (mostly complete)


"From Fiction to Fact: a teaching guide about puberty, menstruation and the human reproductive system" (cover, 1986, Tambrands, U.S.A.)


"Teacher's kit" (complete, early 1950s, Personal Products Corp., U.S.A.)

Testing pads
Consumer Reports (U.S.A., selections), 1949, rated contemporary American tampons & pads - Macy's, Bloomingdale's, Kotex and others. Photos and narrative about what pads & tampons consisted of and a photo of a pad-testing machine (see Syngyna, a tampon-testing machine). See also the important "Dickinson Report" favoring tampons over pads in the 1945 CR.
Underpants for holding menstrual pads  

Washable pads directory

 
Large gifts of historic pads, tampons, ads, documents, panties, etc., to this museum (many people from around the world have generously made smaller donations of boxes, ads, etc.)

In 1995, a woman who read an article about this museum in the Chicago Tribune newspaper kindly donated boxes of fax, Fibs, and other tampons and advertising material from the 1930s left by her father, who had worked for Kotex.

In 1997, Tambrands, former maker of Tampax tampons, generously donated over 450 boxes of tampons from as early as 1936, plus hundreds of other items.

In 2001, Procter & Gamble, owner of Tampax and Always pads, generously donated scores of boxes of tampons and other menstrual products from the 1930s to the 1960s.

See how women wore a belted pad (and in a Swedish ad and a Dutch ad).

 

Why the tabs, belt or suspenders holding a menstrual pad or cloth must be longer in the back.

 
 
this page copyright 2012 Harry Finley