See a Norwegian exhibit about menstruation.
See special panties for menstruation.
Washable pads and panties:
See nineteenth-century Norwegian washable pads - See contemporary washable pads - Women sometimes wore washable pads with a sanitary apron
Belt topics
See how women wore a belt (and in a Swedish ad). See a modern belt for a washable pad and a page from the 1946-47 Sears catalog showing a great variety - ad for Hickory belts, 1920s? - Modess belts in Personal Digest (1966)
What did European women use in the past for menstruation?
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.

The Museum of Menstruation and Women's Health

Imagine having to wear this sanitary apron (left) to prevent menstrual blood from leaking to your clothing! Sears, Roebuck offered this and other models for many years in its catalogs; this one is a facsimile of a menstrual apron from the 1914 catalog (below). See more sanitary aprons.

Dr. Ann Wass, who has created costumes for the Folger Shakespeare Theater in Washington, D.C., made this menstrual apron on commission from MUM.

 (Above) The menstrual apron and pad holder in front are cloth-covered rubber. The wearer pinned absorbent cloth, such as bird's-eye diaper cloth, onto the inner side of the holder. Of course, the woman wore the whole contraption "backwards," under her dress, and over her buttocks, to keep the menstrual blood away from her clothing.

A black American visitor to MUM said that she knew of many women today who would buy one! She said black women tend to gush in the early days of their menstrual periods.

Sears offered at the same time a nifty traveling kit for menstruation (below), consisting of a simple apron, together with several washable menstrual pads and belts, and a waterproof pouch to carry used pads so they could be washed when the traveler returned home.

 What DID women do when they were traveling? In 1914 virtually every woman used cloth menstrual pads; commercial tampons for menstruation did not appear until the late 1920s or early 1930s (Tampax appeared about 1933), but they were not popular. Apparently women either (1) took the sanitary napkins home to wash them (or used the facilities where they were staying, but that seems problematic); or (2) burned them in a fireplace in the room they were occupying. There were also special portable burners available as early as the 1890s in England specifically to burn menstrual pads!

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