See instructions for the 1936 Tampax - and the box, etc. See a very early Tampax ad (1936) - a very early Tampax box and contents - more early commercial tampons
See more Tampax items: American ad from August 1965 - nudity in an ad: May 1992 (United Kingdom) - a sign advertising Tampax during World War II - the original patent - an instruction sheet from the 1930s
The influential Dickinson Report (1945) - Early commercial tampons
Ad Aug 1965 - actress Susan Dey ad, 1970 - gymnast Mary Lou Retton ad, 1986 - ad "Are you sure I'll still be a virgin?" Feb. 1990 - ad (British, nude) 1992 - Tampax sign (World War II) - ad, British, 1994 (the thong advantage)
Australian douche ad (ca. 1900) - Fresca douche (date ?) - Kotique douche 1974 ad - Liasan (1) ad - Liasan (2) ad - Lysol 1928 ad - Lysol 1948 ad - Marvel 1926 ad - Midol 1938 ad - Midol 1959 booklet - o.b. German (papyrus tampons) - Pristeen 1969 ad - o.b. German (nude) - Sterizol 1926 ad - Vionell spray 1970 ad (Germany) - the odor page

A British Tampax ad using nudity (1992) - And see other ads directed at teenagers.

See a Modess True or False? ad in The American Girl magazine, January 1947, and actress Carol Lynley in "How Shall I Tell My Daughter" booklet ad (1955) - Modess . . . . because ads (many dates).
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.

Was Tampax the first French commercial tampon?
Tampax menstrual tampons, 1938, France and U.S.A.
Typography of the boxes

Even though Tampax produced both 10-count boxes in the U.S., according to the information on the sides, the type comes out slightly different on each.

The boxes appear to be printed by letterpress, essentially the way Gutenberg printed his first books about 1450. In the enlarged letters, below, you can see the irregular surface of the individual metal letters that the press - press, get it? - pressed into the cardboard. And the same letters look slightly different because of the difficulty of making all type alike, and the individual letters wear out. Early printers had the same problems, as told in "L'Apparition du Livre "(The Coming of the Book), by Lucien Febvre and Henri-Jean Martin.

Compare that with a 1970 Tampax box printed by photolithography, below, the usual way today, which leaves a smooth surface. Instead of the metal type pressing into the cardboard a photographic film allows ink to lie only on certain parts of the cardboard. Today someone (I did this for years) at a computer designs text and illustrations for books, boxes, calendars and magazines and then sends the work as an electronic file to a printing press; people there convert it to a photographic plate and print it. Letterpress is seldom used on large or complicated jobs.

BEGINNING of this article.

See many early tampons from the U.S.A.
Tambrands generously donated these boxes, part of a large gift of menstrual products from its archives.
Harry Finley created the images.

The arrows point to the X's on the large word Tampax on each box, American above and French below. The American X sits lower. There are small differences between the letters on the two boxes.
Below: look how the T's differ, showing the most obvious difference between the typefaces. The differences in light and dark within the letters (enlarged 1200%) show how the metal type, probably old and worn (like me), pressed against the cardboard. Modern photolithography makes a smoother image (under this image).
A Tampax T from a 1970 box (1200%). The fuzzy stuff in the dark part is from the cardboard. The image is cleaner than the image from metal type.

NEXT: Tampons - boxes, typography, tampons, interior of directions, exterior of directions
See more Tampax items: See instructions for the 1936 Tampax - and the box, etc. See Dutch Tampax ads from 1938 (and here, virtually identical to a contemporary American ad)American ad from August 1965 - nudity in an ad: May 1992 (United Kingdom) - a sign advertising Tampax during World War II - the original patent - an instruction sheet from the 1930s

copyright 2006 Harry Finley