o.b. ads, booklets & actual tampons: German (1970s) - German (1972) nude woman on bed - German nude (1970s) - French (1989) - folder, Germany, early 1950s (tells what o.b. means!) - Dutch, two ads from 1959 giving THEIR take on what o.b. means, which was wrong - Dutch ads, 1962, 1967 - Belgian ad with beach & bathing suits, 1980s? - American ad showing Judith Esser, designer of the o.b. tampon, August, 1984 - o.b. puberty booklets (excerpts): German, Dutch (2004) - o.b. actual tampons: Switzerland (o.b.é.), 1970
More o.b. booklets:
[Die] Menstruation (excerpts, 1977, o.b. tampons, Germany) Photographer David Hamilton contributed many photographs to this explicit and beautiful booklet. By the way, "Die" in the title means "the," not to lose life.
Volwassen worden ("Growing up," the Netherlands, excerpts, 2004, o.b. tampons)
Your Personal Guide to Menstruation and Tampon Usage (complete booklet, U.S.A., 1988, o.b. tampons)
Booklets menstrual hygiene companies made for girls, women and teachers - patent medicine - a list of books and articles about menstruation
See early tampons and a list of tampons on this site - at least the ones I've cataloged.
CONTRIBUTE to Humor, Words and expressions about menstruation and Would you stop menstruating if you could?
Some MUM site links:

MUM address & What does MUM mean? |
Email the museum |
Privacy on this site |
Who runs this museum?? |
Amazing women! |
Art of menstruation (and awesome ancient art of menstruation) |
Artists (non-menstrual) |
Asbestos |
Belts |
Bidets |
Birth control and religion |
Birth control drugs, old |
Birth control douche & sponges |
Founder bio |
Bly, Nellie |
MUM board |
Books: menstruation & menopause (& reviews) |
Cats |
Company booklets for girls (mostly) directory |
Contraception and religion |
Contraceptive drugs, old |
Contraceptive douche & sponges |
Costumes |
Menstrual cups |
Cup usage |
Dispensers |
Douches, pain, sprays |
Essay directory |
Examination, gynecological (pelvic) (short history) |
Extraction |
Facts-of-life booklets for girls |
Famous women in menstrual hygiene ads |
Feminine napkin, towel, pad directory |
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, towel, napkin directory |
Patent medicine |
Poetry directory |
Products, some current |
Puberty booklets for girls and parents|
Religion |
Religión y menstruación |
Your remedies for menstrual discomfort |
Menstrual products safety |
Sanitary napkin, towel, pad directory |
Seguridad de productos para la menstruación |
Science |
Shame |
Slapping, menstrual |
Sponges |
Synchrony |
Tampon directory |
Early tampons |
Teen ads directory |
Tour of the former museum (video) |
Towel, pad, sanitary napkin directory |
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 |
Read 10 years (1996-2006) of articles and Letters to Your MUM on this site.
Leer la versión en español de los siguientes temas: Anticoncepción y religión, Breve reseña - Olor - Religión y menstruación - Seguridad de productos para la menstruación.

Anne non-applicator menstrual tampons with finger cots, box of 10 (1968)
Japan, from o.b. tampons

In honor of ANNE FRANK (with a caveat, below)

"Anne" is another example of the Japanese use of Western words and names. But in this case the name is of a very particular person: Anne Frank of diary fame who died in a Nazi concentration camp. Read the amazing story of the tampon (and more extensively from my Dutch translation). And read a Dutch discussion (in Dutch) of this Japanese menstruation-name connection as related to a menstrual pad (Anne Frank was born in Frankfurt, Germany). I thank very much the Dutch contributor of many items to this site for pointing out the tampon's name origin!

This Dutch father of four grown daughters also writes,

[Anne Frank] knows the difference between tampons and sanitary napkins when she writes:

"Oh I forgot to mention the important news that I'm probably going to get my period soon. I can tell because I keep finding a whitish smear in my panties and Mom predicted it would start soon. I can hardly wait. It's such a momentous event. Too bad I can't use sanitary napkins but you can't get them anymore, and Mama's tampons can be used only by women who've had a baby." (from The Dairy of a Young Girl - the Definitive Edition).

NB: Quite interesting when you read the Dutch text (from the Dutch definitive Edition, 6th edition, April 2001):

"PS. Ik heb je nog vergeten het gewichtige nieuws te vertellen dat ik waarschijnlijk gauw ongesteld wordt. Dat merk ik omdat er steeds zo'n soort kleverig zaad in mijn broek ligt en moeder heeft het mij voorspeld. Ik kan het haast niet afwachten het lijkt me zo gewichtig, alleen jammer dat ik nu geen damesverband kan dragen want dat krijgt men ook niet meer, en die stokjes van mama kunnen alleen vrouwen dragen die al eens een kind gehad hebben. "

I find it interesting that the translation smooths the Dutch text when:
a) 'soort kleverig zaad' becomes "whitish smear" and
b) 'die stokjes' becomes "tampons".

Zaad means literally in Dutch 'semen' or 'seed' and 'stokjes' means literally 'little branches'. The translation is very correct but Anne does not use in 1942 the Dutch words 'afscheiding' (discharge) and 'tampon' we nowadays are used to. [But the word tampon DID appear in Dutch advertising for Tampax by at least 1938. See the third paragraph of the small text beginning with "Doctoren."]

Probably at the same time and from the same company a menstrual pad bore  Anne (Frank's) name as a Japanese student relates and here.

On a jarring note
: ane in Japanese means "elder sister," usually the first one to menstruate. Could the company have had this in mind? Does it conflict with the Anne Frank story?

But Ms. Frank's was not the only Anne-like name to grace a menstrual product. An American manufacturer named his menstrual sponge after his wife Anna! What is it with Ann(e, a)? These are the only two products that I know that bear the names of real people although Ms. Frank lent hers unwittingly. Curious too is that both people were Jews, who formed a very small percentage of the population. And the sponge probably comes from the 1940s, when Ms. Frank wrote her diary and died. Write me if you know of other examples.

Oops! I forgot: Vinny's tampon carrier!

Note that these people - and ME, the MUM director - are all outsiders in society in some way: as Jews or as males. The Japanese regard non-Japanese as very much outsiders when they appear on their islands.

In Japan, apparently the traditional method to absorb menstrual flow was the pony, or pad held by a belt.

Commercial menstrual tampons were probably a mid-20th century introduction.

One of the reasons Western women used tampons even before their commercial introduction in the 1930s was for performing in front of an audience. But in Japan men played the female parts in traditional theater, thus eliminating any worry about menstruation.

Elldy, also Japanese, also had finger protectors (cots).

This tampon is an o.b. adapted for Japan.

Read about Japanese script on tampon boxes.

I thank the former Tambrands (history) for the donation!

Below: The cardboard box measures 2 1/2 x 2 1/8 x 1 1/8" (6.4 x 5.4 x 3 cm).
Someone at Tambrands, the former maker of Tampax, wrote "rec'd [received]" and the date on the box.
Below: The opposite side of the box. The price label, for 170 yen, lies enlarged below. This is almost the same price as for a contemporary Japanese tampon, Cellopon.
Below: For those wishing to brush up on their Japanese. Good luck!
Below: The bottom of the box.
Below: The top of the box.
Below: The small sides of the box are identical.

NEXT | instructions p.1 & p.2 - tampon
o.b. ads, booklets & actual tampons: German (1970s) - German (1972) nude woman on bed - German nude (1970s) - French (1989) - folder, Germany, early 1950s (tells what o.b. means!) - Dutch, two ads from 1959 giving THEIR take on what o.b. means, which was wrong - [Die] Menstruation (excerpts, 1977, o.b. tampons, Germany) Photographer David Hamilton contributed many photographs to this explicit and beautiful booklet.
So many BOOKLETS - So many TAMPONS

© 2010, 2016 Harry Finley. It is illegal to reproduce or distribute any of the work on this Web site in any manner or medium
without written permission of the author. Please report suspected violations to hfinley@mum.org