See the fax tampon and the almost identical tampon Nunap sold probably about the same time, both probably made of Cellucotton, the component of Kotex.
See other marketing devices: Ad-design contest for menstrual products in the United Kingdom; B-ettes tampon counter-display box and proposal to dealers, with contract; (U.S.A., donated by Procter & Gamble, 2001); "Your Image is Your Fortune!," Modess sales-hints booklet for stores, 1967 (U.S.A., donated by Tambrands, 1997)
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 |
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 |
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, some current |
Puberty booklets for girls and parents|
Religion |
Religión y menstruación |
Your remedies for menstrual discomfort |
Menstrual products safety |
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) |
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.

fax menstrual tampon clip sheet for publications (early-to-mid 1930s, U.S.A.)

Clip sheets enabled people who created newspaper and magazine pages to cut out ads supplied by companies and paste them onto the make-up pages, from which plates were made, which in turn printed the pages you held in your hands. Clip sheets gave companies control over their advertising and lightened the work of the publications, especially when the advertiser gave the printer ads made to fit many different column sizes, as you see below. For most publications computers made clip sheets obsolete.

Why the name fax? (See the tampon and read more about it.) A woman who listened to Howard Stern's radio interview with me in 1998 came up with an intriguing explanation, that it's a kind of acronym for Freedom, Comfort, Convenience (FCC), words on a fax counter display.

The great Renaissance Italian printer Aldus Manutius invented italic type and also the small, octavo-size book (possibly the spiritual ancestor of the pocket book today), which made books more portable. Italic type, based on Greek handwriting, looks thin and therefore small. I wonder if the reason fax is always italic and never capitalized is to emphasize its smallness as compared with the menstrual pads of the 1920s and 1930s (for example, Modess), fax's main competitors, which were thick and large, much bigger than today's pads.

One thing that amazes me is the sophistication of the pitch to retailers, which I once thought had more modern origins. But early Kotex campaigns showed similar sophistication, showing the mercantile minds of Wallace Meyer and Albert Lasker, the latter also responsible for naming Planned Parenthood, for first using the word cancer on the radio and for being an inspiration behind the National Institutes of Health and the Lasker Awards in medicine, America's highest.

Finally, look at the words "wear" and "sanitary napkin." "Wear a pad" probably is more common today than "wear a tampon," and I believe the tampon's newness meant that an old vocabulary was necessary to describe the innovation, just as the words "internal sanitary napkin" (below) attest to the date of fax; "tampon" appears nowhere on this sheet, even though it's possible the menstrual tampon derived from the tampon doctors used for centuries to insert into body orifices to deliver medication or absorb fluids. But probably few women would have known the word, or would have had only a medical - disease - association with the word.

In 1995, a woman who wants to remain anonymous donated the sheet together with boxes of fax, Fibs, Wix (see early tampons) and other tampons and advertising material after having read about this museum in the Chicago Tribune newspaper. Her father, who had worked for Kotex, left the material, which she found in her mother's belongings after she died.

Click on the page you want enlarged.


Side 1


Side 2
Click on the page you want enlarged.

The two folds on sides 1 and 2 don't line up because I trimmed the the pictures of the sheets (not the real sheets). Both sides are printed on coated (heavy and semi-shiny) paper in dark brown ink, with orange added on the upper right page ("Introducing Profit in Sanitary Napkins"). The sheet measures 10.9" x 25.5" (27.7 x 65.1 cm) and folds into thirds.
Advertising folks at publications could cut out the ads on side 2; the ones at the left were designed probably to fit single and double newspaper columns of the time. Clip sheets were common before computers took over publications because ads supplied by companies could be cut out and pasted into page layouts, then photographed, enabling plates to be made to print the newspaper or magazine. Small publications probably still do this (2001). As an art director and graphic designer I had done it both ways.

Next [side 1 (left middle right) side 2 (left right)]

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