Montogomery Ward catalog, U.S.A., 1923 (spring - summer)
showing offering of menstruation supplies
In 1923 menstrual supplies were in the middle of a revolution. Kotex,
the first widely successful disposable pad in the U.S.A., started in the
early 1920s and soon faced many competitors, since women were eager to forget
washing cloth pads (as seen in a Kotex ad). Within
10 years women could also buy commercial tampons
and possibly menstrual cups. Sanitary aprons were
on their way out as pads improved.
The ads below tidily freeze the menstrual state of affairs. Belts (on
top) held the pads (middle part of the second row and both ends of the last
row) and to protect the clothing a woman might wear a sanitary apron under
her clothing (second row).
Look at the fancy belt a woman might buy for her bridal
trousseau, top row, right!
The last ad shows one reason why women bought from mail-order catalogs:
to spare themselves embarrassment, a huge factor in menstruation merchandising
(see instructions to stores about how to display
Run your mouse over the image to see other examples of the products.
See a page from the 1946-47 Sears catalog
showing a great variety - ad for Hickory belts,