Early 20th-century Japanese ads from publications
- open-crotch drawers, 1890s (U.S.A., from MUM
collection) - Modess "Sanitary Shield"
(two-band pad holder in crotch; 1970s; U.S.A.) - SheShells
bikini (snap open at sides; no special crotch; possibly for menstrual pads
or tampons, 1970s, U.S.A.)
See Kotex ad with a man and no woman from
Compare the American "Modess, because . .
." ads, a French Modess ad, a French
ad featuring just a man!, and
ads for teens.
See Kotex items: First ad (1921)
- ad 1928 (Sears and Roebuck catalog) - Lee Miller ads (first real person in amenstrual
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
Menstrual napkin belts, pads & sanitary aprons from the 1909
& 1916 John M. Smyth, and 1930 Savage, catalogs (U.S.A.)
These pages resemble those of the Butler Bros.
catalogs and might carry the same items.
These catalogs could be huge; the page below is numbered 1110, from
Menstruation was big business in 1916. In America, women could buy commercial
menstrual belts at least by 1891 (see the Jordan,
Marsh & Co. catalog). Before that time, women probably made their
own menstrual gear based on patterns handed down from mother to daughter
or from the many books advising women how to run a household (see a German
pattern), the chief occupation of middle-class
women. Or they simply used old rags or other absorbent
material - or used nothing at all, but bled into
The names are similar but this is not the Johnson
Smith & Co., which sold whoopee cushions, chameleons and other things
little boys liked, among others.
See washable pads and ads for them,
early Kotex, "sanitary underpants
& panties" and more belts.
I thank again the generous contributor from Oregon for these scans!
Below: Compare these items from the 1909
Smyth catalog (Catalog No. 64, page 1110) with those from the Butler
Servitte (maybe misspelled) might refer to serviette, a common early name
for menstrual napkins. Serviette comes from French
and today means table napkin, mainly in the U.K. People in the U.K. usually
call them towels today. See more words used in
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