Menstrual napkin belts and pads from the 1902 and 1908 Sears, Roebuck catalogs (U.S.A.)
Actual belts in the museum Underpants (directory of all on this site):
Early 20th-century Japanese ads from publications - open-crotch drawers, 1890s (U.S.A., from MUM collection) - Modess "Sanitary Shield" (two-band pad holder in crotch; 1970s; U.S.A.) - SheShells bikini (snap open at sides; no special crotch; possibly for menstrual pads or tampons, 1970s, U.S.A.)
See Kotex ad with a man and no woman from the Netherlands
Compare the American "Modess, because . . ." ads, a French Modess ad, a French ad featuring just a man!, and ads for teens.
See Kotex items: First ad (1921) - ad 1928 (Sears and Roebuck catalog) - Lee Miller ads (first real person in amenstrual hygiene ad, 1928) - Marjorie May's Twelfth Birthday (booklet for girls, 1928, Australian edition; there are many links here to Kotex items) - Preparing for Womanhood (1920s, booklet for girls; Australian edition) - 1920s booklet in Spanish showing disposal method - box from about 1969 - "Are you in the know?" ads (Kotex) (1949)(1953)(1964)(booklet, 1956) - See more ads on the Ads for Teenagers main page
Ads for the Kotex stick tampon (U.S.A., 1970s) - a Japanese stick tampon from the 1970s.
Early commercial tampons - Rely tampon - Meds tampon (Modess)
CONTRIBUTE to Humor, Words and expressions about menstruation and Would you stop menstruating if you could?
Some MUM site links:
homepageMUM 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.

Menstrual napkin belts, pads & sanitary aprons from the 1916, 1918, 1920 and 1938 Butler Brothers wholesale catalogs (U.S.A.)

Menstruation was big business in 1916. In America, women could buy commercial menstrual belts at least by 1891 (see the Jordan, Marsh & Co. catalog). Before that time, women probably made their own menstrual gear based on patterns handed down from mother to daughter or from the many books advising women how to run a household (see a German pattern), the chief occupation of middle-class women. Or they simply used old rags or other absorbent material - or used nothing at all, but bled into their clothing.

My eyes popped out at the low prices until I realized that Butler Brothers was a company that sold its products to stores, which then increased the prices to its customers - that is, it was a wholesaler.

"Butler Brothers originated in 1877 as a wholesaler selling general and variety-store merchandise by mail. By the early years of the twentieth century the company served about 100,000 customers through the United States and was the largest firm of its type in the country. Rising chain store competition induced the company to establish in 1927 a chain of franchised variety stores under the Ben Franklin name." It sold this chain in 1959. [Text from]

See washable pads and ads for them, early Kotex, "sanitary underpants & panties" and more belts.

I thank again the generous contributor from Oregon for these scans!

Below: Everything a woman could want for menstruation in 1916! Well, she might have also wanted Midol or other patent medicine for discomfort. Commercial tampons specifically for menstruation didn't appear until the early 1930s, maybe about the same time as cups; both seem to have had a tough time in sales.
At top: "New ideas of health and comfort . . . ." probably refers to germ theory and the rediscovery of the value of bathing.
"The sure sellers . . . ." reminds me of later pitches to stores on what and how to sell. See also How to sell Kotex page for trade publications, probably early 1920s, U.S.A.
"Quicken the turn" in the box at bottom must mean hasten the turnover. Nice phrase!
See how women wore a sanitary apron.
At least one of the items is named "serviette," French for napkin, another early name for menstrual pads (napkins).

NEXT | 1918 1920 1938 | Menstrual napkin belts and pads from the 1902 and 1908 Sears, Roebuck catalogs (U.S.A.) - Actual belts in the museum Underpants (directory of all on this site): Early 20th-century Japanese ads from publications See how women wore a belt (and in a Swedish ad) - many real modern American belts.
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