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) - drawing for a proposed German belt and pad, 1894 - ads for early 20th-century Japanese belts - belts and washable pads from the 1902 and 1908 Sears, Roebuck catalogs - belt from Jordan, Marsh & Co. catalog, Boston, 1891 - German belt (from Bilz), about 1890

Suspenders to hold pads (U.S.A., 19th century)

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.

"Hoosier" Ladies' Sanitary (menstrual) Belt, probably before 1925, U.S.A.

Folder, pp. 1 &2 - pp. 3 & 4 - buckle & enlargements of text & illustrations

This menstrual pad belt, from a company in Indiana - "Hoosier" means Indiana - seems to come from a time not later than about 1925. (Women could buy the first commercial belts in America in the last two decades of the 19th century.) My reasoning goes like this: the illustration probably shows a washable pad (commercial disposable pads were thicker - see a Modess - although yes, there were commercial washable pads from the 1920s, like from Sears), normally homemade. I would think the company would illustrate a commercial disposable pad if it thought the customers were using them, and disposable commercial pads were selling fairly well in the mid-1920s (there were many brands besides Kotex, as evidenced in the Gilbreth Report).

(Speaking of Hoosier: the contributor of "Cut your finger" to the Words page explained Hoosier this way: "The state of Indiana IS known as 'the Hoosier State' and those who live there are nicknamed 'Hoosiers.' The common explanation is that they were very proud of their state and if they met a stranger, they always were curious which state the other person was from. They would say, 'Who's your state?' (This was back in the early 1800s; now we say, 'What state are you from?"') 'Who's your' was corrupted into 'Hoosier' since speakers ran the words together.")

I find the appeal for sales people in the accompanying folder great reading, as interesting as the wonderful pitch Dr. Grace Thompson sends to potential patients from maybe about the same time, 1912.

The folder and box never bear the word menstruation or any of its synonyms, the word "sanitary" combined with "ladies'" and "belt" being explicit enough.

The donor generously donated many other items to MUM, some already on this site.


Above: Illustration of the belt from page 1 of the accompanying folder. The pad looks almost like a modern thin panty pad, but is probably a cloth homemade pad, common at this time (see one from Italy from roughly this, um, period. Commercial disposable pads from the presumed era of this belt are much thicker; see a Modess pad from the 1930s, which is 0.75" thick).


Above: The belt is not elastic and is 0.86" wide (about 22 mm). Something has stained it and the box and folder brown. See an enlargement of the front clasp.


Above: Lid of the cardboard box, which measures 3" x 3.75" x 0.75" (about 75 x 95 x 20 mm). The printing is a faded dark blue and the box bears an oil-like stain that darkens also the belt and folder, which might mean that it was never sold and used.

NEXT: the folder, pp. 1 & 2 - folder, pp. 3 & 4 - buckle & enlargements of text & illustrations

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