More menstrual and
20th century - "Sanitary
Bloomers," 1922 (ad from Sears, Roebuck
catalog, U.S.A.) - various underpants, 1928
(page from Sears, Roebuck catalog) - step-in, Hickory, 1928 (ad from
Vanity Fair magazine, U.S.A.) - first Sears everyday panties
(nonmenstrual), 1935 (ad from Sears, Roebuck
catalog) - various panties
(and belts), 1946-47 (page from Sears, Roebuck
catalog) - various panties,
1960s (part of Personal Digest, Modess, U.S.A.)
- SheShells panties
See ads for
menarche-education booklets: Marjorie May's Twelfth
Birthday (Kotex, 1932), Tampax
tampons (1970, with Susan Dey), Personal Products
(1955, with Carol Lynley), and German o.b. tampons (lower
And read Lynn Peril's series
about these and similar booklets!
Read the full text of the 1935 Canadian edition
of Marjorie May's Twelfth Birthday, probably
identical to the American edition.
More ads for teens (see also introductory page for
teenage advertising): Are
you in the know?
(Kotex napkins and Quest napkin powder, 1948,
you in the know?
(Kotex napkins and belts, 1949, U.S.A.)Are you in the know? (Kotex napkins, 1953, U.S.A.),
Are you in the know? (Kotex napkins and belts,
1964, U.S.A.), Freedom
(1990, Germany), Kotex (1992, U.S.A.), Pursettes (1974, U.S.A.), Pursettes (1974, U.S.A.), Saba (1975, Denmark)
See early tampons
and a list of tampon
on this site - at least the ones I've cataloged.
Sanitary Panty-Kini, menstrual
underpants, by Modess, 1960s-1970s
Once upon a time women escaped
wearing menstrual napkin belts (here) with pads
by putting on specially made panties
to hold the often thick pad in place.
You see one method below on a plastic
mannequin that used to hang in the
physical Museum of Menstruation (see
two elastic bands in the crotch
gripped the pad. The maker, Modess
(Personal Products Company), also made
menstrual pads, belts and booklets
explaining menstruation to girls.
The box containing the panty calls
it a "neat little nothing of a panty"
but not so nothing that it doesn't do
a job women have struggled with for
A doctor's wife in her 60s visiting
the museum sat next to this mannequin
for an hour and could not bring
herself to more than glance at it. She
told me that she had to wear such
things when younger and felt mortified
sitting there. She had brought her
niece who was gleefully videotaping
the museum for a college project.
The donor wants to remain
The Modess pad in the
panty, typical in its fatness, creates
a bulge that women wanted to conceal,
wearing not pants but a dress.
Horrors! if a male should discover she
Harry Finley took
all the photos.
of the panty shows two bands
holding a genuine Modess
tabbed napkin. The long
central depression results
from a woman's (or plastic
squashing the pad, which
increases rubbing and
discomfort, something women
have complained about at
least since the 1920s and
probably forever. (Read a medical
report about this.)
Modess did not indent the
pad to accommodate this but
today's larger pads often
© 2006 Harry Finley.
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