The Science of a New Life, by John Cowan, M. D. (1875) - Plain Facts for Old and Young: Embracing the Natural History and Hygiene of Organic Life, by J. H. Kellogg, M. D. (1892) - Dr. R. V. Pierce's "Spermatorrhea" section of The People's Common Sense Medical Adviser (63rd edition, 1895) - The Sexual System and Its Derangements, by Dr. E. C. Abbey (1882) - Sexology, by Prof. William H. Walling, A.M., M.D. (1912) - Gynecology, by Howard A. Kelly, A. B., M.D., LL. D. (1928) - Dr. Young's Improved Rectal Dilators for the Auxiliary Treatment of Piles and Constipation (U.S.A., 1900?-1940?), probably a masturbation device
See also Cardui patent medicine booklet covers, testimonials, examination sheet
See Dr. Grace Feder Thompson's letter appealing for patients, Lydia E. Pinkham's Vegetable Compound, and Orange Blossom medicine, Dr. E. C. Abbey's The Sexual System and Its Derangements, which emphasises masturbation, as doe Dr. Pierce, and several small boxes of old American patent medicine for women.
See the Wix tampon, instructions, patent, The Fascinating Story of Wix (and another version) and store instruction sheet. And read an ad in the Sears catalog for Wix and see a Wix tampon store display ad.
Early commercial tampons
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)
And, of course, the first Tampax AND - special for you! - the American fax tampon, from the early 1930s, which also came in bags.
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.


Dr. R. V. Pierce's patent medicine empire and hospital, often
concerned with women's diseases, cancer, digestive illness, fatigue,
headache, hysteria, female weakness, gynecology, obstetrics,
childbirth, and menstruation
"The People's Common Sense Medical Adviser in Plain English; or,
Medicine Simplified," 1895, Buffalo, New York


I show parts from the "Spermatorrhea" section in the famous Dr. Pierce's The People's Common Sense Medical Adviser (63rd edition, 1895; on the title page he claims he has sold over two million copies of the then over 1000-page book) to let you see the outlandish attitude towards masturbation some doctors held in America 100 years ago, and necessarily many Americans - even today. (See and read more about Dr. R. V. Pierce's medical empire and others' writings on masturbation in the links above this story.)

Beliefs such as athletes avoiding sex the day before a competition date from at least Dr. Pierce's era and are explicitly based on what you are about to read.

And even the British comedy group Monty Python had a chorus in their movie The Meaning of Life warning listeners to save every sperm - meant humorously, of course; Dr. Pierce warned exactly the same thing, seriously.

As far as women's health is concerned, compare the 30 pages Pierce devotes to mostly masturbation to the TWO pages to "The Turn of Life" (menopause).

Remember Dr. Joycelyn Elders, the woman President Clinton nominated for Surgeon General of the United States? Conservatives hated her liberal views on masturbation, among other things, and rejected her.

Dr. Pierce preaches to men, although he does fleetingly say that women should not masturbate. But he wanes eloquent over the fact that men lose the vital fluid, semen, through masturbation and nocturnal ejaculations. "Its waste is a wanton expenditure," whereas women lose what, just an egg every month, whether they masturbate or not? Frequent nocturnal emissions, beyond men's conscious control, must be treated; ovulation, beyond women's control - so what?

Another writer, whose name you'll recognize, operated on an 11-year-old girl to stop her masturbation and wrote about it.

But just a couple decades later, in order to avoid venereal disease, the U.S. Army told its enlisted soldiers in World War I to avoid sex with prostitutes - and to masturbate! (I read this in John Barry's "The Great Influenza.") How times change.

Doctors and midwives masturbated patients

By the way, in America (and elswhere) in the late nineteenth century, some mainstream doctors masturbated patients, men and women, as a treatment for certain illnesses, in spite of Pierce's and probably most Americans' views. And midwives and doctors throughout European history have masturbated patients. Rachel Maines wrote an eye-opening book about this: The Technology of Orgasm: "Hysteria," the Vibrator, and Women's Sexual Satisfaction (Johns Hopkins Press, 1999). The New York Times published a special book review on its science page when the book appeared. The Pulitzer-Prize winning reviewer, Natalie Angier, seemed as amazed as any of her readers.

Go to the first page!

To show this gender difference in discussing male masturbation and women's problems, Dr. Pierce's satisfied women patients chatter on in their testimonials about their wombs and periods next to their pictures in his Medical Adviser, whereas not one of the 74 no-longer-masturbating men, but ashamed, dares show his face! ("Seminal weakness", below, means masturbation and/or unwilled, mostly nocturnal, seminal ejaculations.) The man writes from Lynn, Massachusetts, home of Lydia E. Pinkham's patent medicines.

Go to the first page! Dr. R. V. Pierce main page - "Spermatorrhea" 1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 4a - 5 - 6 - 7

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