See a Norwegian exhibit about menstruation.
Washable pads
See nineteenth-century Norwegian washable pads - See contemporary washable pads - Women sometimes wore washable pads with a sanitary apron
Belt topics
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)
What did European women use in the past for menstruation?
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.

The Museum of Menstruation and Women's Health
See a larger tour of the original Museum of Menstruation, a cartoon visit,
the museum's future, and reaction to it and this site.


Welcome to the former interior of MUM - it no longer exists - and tour part of it!

Next page of Inside MUM!
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Many publications, radio and TV discussed this museum.

(See another, much bigger tour of the former museum. And read a comic strip - unfinished - about a fictional trip a conservative family makes to this museum.)

Located in the basement of my house from the end of July 1994 to August 1998, I designed and built the only museum in the world devoted exclusively to the culture of menstruation. People around the world saw it on television, read about it in publications and heard about it on the radio.

I closed it because I opened it to visitors almost every weekend for four years; hosted radio, TV, and video crews, almost always using my vacation time; and worked a regular job. I was exhausted and desperate for free time and was worried about someone's tripping on loose carpet. AND I was worried about a false charge of sexual harassment: I'm a male. Neither cause for worry happened. Nine months after closing I had to have coronary angioplasty, although I don't know if that was a consequence of the stress.

Read my plans for the future museum.

At top is part of the wall showing some advertising history from Europe and America, and a time line of the development of menstrual protection.

The truncated lady at the left (truncation saves money; MUM was built with the meager funds of one average person) wears pad-holding underpants from the 1970s, part of a large gift from a Minnesotan. It was one of eight mannequins at MUM.

The museum has expanded its collection to include non-European cultures.


About 1550 BCE an Egyptian described how lint (fetet) inserted into the vagina could prevent conception (left). Is this the first description of a tampon?
(Read a German MUM contributor's essay about menstruation in ancient Egypt)

MUM has copies of old Greek and Hebrew inscriptions also describing the use of tampons for contraception, which possibly means that women also used material as tampons to control menstruation.

The o.b. tampon company (o.b. means "ohne Binde," without a pad, in German - read proof of this; it was a German company before Johnson & Johnson bought it) in its print advertising has made much of ancient Egyptian women using tampons (so have others), but they couldn't tell me where they got the information.

Consumer Reports didn't reply to my letter when I asked the the same question, after they had repeated the same assertion in its last article comparing pads and tampons.

But a friendly reader of this site reminded me that Hippocrates wrote of tampon usage in the ancient world, although about 1000 years after the above Egyptian writing. As soon as I get chapter and verse I will put what I find here.

Helen King has written the most thorough discussion of Greek menstruation and its tampons that I've read here.

See also the section on early commercial tampons.

Next page of Inside MUM!
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