Museum of Menstruation and Women's Health
American washable menstrual pad (date?)
Ben Truwe, in Oregon, e-mailed that
one of his family members found this
object among bow ties from a thrift
store in Pittsburgh - but it's no tie:
What brought me back to your site
was the item in the attached photo.
I found it in with a bunch of old
neckties, but it's obviously no tie.
It's of soft unbleached cotton
muslin, seems to be professionally
made, machine stitched, and the
right length to attach to a belt
front and back. It's untagged,
unmarked and unused. Can you
It is the right size, almost 24"
long; the first Kotex pad - read the ad
describing it - in 1921,
measured 22 inches (ca. 56 cm.) long,
and the filler was 3.5 inches (ca. 9
cm.) wide. (A Johnson & Johnson
report describes even bigger pads.)
As you see in the photo, the cloth
overlaps in a way that would have made
it easy to put in a filler to absorb
the menstrual discharge. And menstrual
pad belts have used buttons to attach
the pad - see a German version
from right before World War II.
I thank Matie and Jacob Trewe for
the pad and Ben Truwe for his
research about the Sanitary Towel
Laundry of Lincoln, Nebraska,
and much other information.
A closer view of one
The overlapping folds
could hold a filler.
An even closer shot.
There's no stain from
menstrual blood and
protein; see an old Italian
washable pad with
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