Douche with a smile in addition to a Coke bottle with Little Doozee.

The "Mon Docteur" Way to Health[,] Vitality[,] and Beauty (1928-29? leaflets, booklets: Leaflet: This is It (covers, pages 2/3, 4/5, 6/7/8) - Leaflet: Every Woman Wants to be Lovely and Belovèd (pages 1/4, 2/3) - Booklet: Why Haven't We Women Been Told This Thing Before? (covers, pages 1/2-3/4, 5/6-7/8, 9/10-11/12, 13/14-15/16, 17/18-19/20, 21/22) - Booklet: The Mon Docteur Treatments)
Menstrual cups
Douches, pain, sprays
Read also an Australian ad for douche apparatus in a banned publication, about 1900. See instructional material for an American company that sold douche equipment and menstrual cups at Tupperware-like parties in women's houses!
German douche and menstrual supplies in 1933 when the Nazis came to power.
Why you shouldn't douche.
Read 1930s criticism of douching liquids Zonite and Lysol.
Booklets menstrual hygiene companies made for girls, women and teachers - patent medicine - a list of books and articles about menstruation
See early tampons and a list of tampons on this site - at least the ones I've cataloged.
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 (and awesome ancient art of menstruation) |
Artists (non-menstrual) |
Asbestos |
Belts |
Bidets |
Birth control and religion |
Birth control drugs, old |
Birth control douche & sponges |
Founder bio |
Bly, Nellie |
MUM board |
Books: menstruation & menopause (& reviews) |
Cats |
Company booklets for girls (mostly) directory |
Contraception and religion |
Contraceptive drugs, old |
Contraceptive douche & sponges |
Costumes |
Menstrual cups |
Cup usage |
Dispensers |
Douches, pain, sprays |
Essay directory |
Examination, gynecological (pelvic) (short history) |
Extraction |
Facts-of-life booklets for girls |
Famous women in menstrual hygiene ads |
Feminine napkin, towel, pad directory |
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, towel, napkin 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 |
Sanitary napkin, towel, pad directory |
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) |
Towel, pad, sanitary napkin directory |
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.

The Intimate Side of a Woman's Life by Leona W. Chalmers
Book (hard cover with dust jacket), 128 pages, 1937
Pioneer Publications, Inc., Radio City, New York, U.S.A.
Gynecology, women, cup, health, menstruation, beauty, period, feminine, vaginal hygiene, douche, period, cycle, cleanliness, bath, odor, body, medicine, pain, loveliness, exercise, pain, sick, feminine, cosmetics, sanitary pad, napkin, contraception

Basically, this book explains how to attract men by keeping certain parts of your body spic and span - you know which ones. But Mrs. Chalmers will gladly tell you again and again and again. And again.

That's it! That's the book!

Well, the douching recommendations are part of the long history of killing and/or douching out sperm: contraception. Sponges performed a similar service as did at least one tampon.

But she also introduced to the U.S.A. probably the first soft rubber menstrual cup, I think a real advance; she thinks so too and will tell you about it.

Her own lively writing is the best way to appreciate this bundle of energy - energy derived as she believed from keeping herself clean?

Read on!

Below: The front of the dust cover.
Mrs. Chalmers's armpit gets its own section - OK, your armpit.
Hers are fine.
Look at the back cover (at right): I'm struck by the association of a Dr. W. S. Pugh - Pyoo, meaning "It stinks!" - with a book whose theme - , well, that's the theme, from hair to breath to armpit to vulva and vagina! Don't look at ME that way; Mrs. Chalmers wrote the book! I'm just the humble male transmitter of her silly opinions. Page after page she will make you GASP, often for air!
Below: The back of the dust cover. I enlarged it make it easier to read.
It seems suspect that Dr. Pugh praises a book he's heavily involved in.
Wonderfully vague euphemism: "cleanliness of 'the parts.'"
"The one sentence in this work 'A woman's body is constructed in such a way as to make her a breeder of disease unless she keeps herself immaculately clean' is sufficient reason for this work. She states 'Every husband appreciates a clean, lovely wife'. [sic] In this sentence the Author points to one of the fundamentals of divorce. If it were not for unclean, unlovely wives divorce would be cut to a minimum." Lysol relied on threatened divorce for business.
Below: The front flap.
Below: The back flap and spine.
"Precious organs" stirs memories of the "precious bodily fluids" from the movie Dr. Strangelove.
Below: Title page (p. iii). Two pages before this one is a page with only the title. Each page measures about 5 3/16 x 8" (about 12.8 x 20.2 cm).
Frank Netter was a famous medical illustrator. See another famous one from that era.

Below: In the year this book appeared The American Journal of Nursing dismissed it in a short hurrumph (Nov. 1937, vol. 37, issue 11, p. 1298). Some excerpts [I added the red emphasis]:
"Though the author claims that 'all information is accurate and authentic according to the latest medical research[,]' some of the theories advanced seem to this reviewer to be in direct opposition to those accepted by recognized authorities in gynecology." [About douching, for example:] "Dr. Crossen, in his latest edition of Gynecology for Nurses says,
Below: As part of an offer for Chalmers's menstrual cup, now called Tassette, the Sunday Herald (Bridgeport, Conn., Nov. 8, 1959) ran this boxed ad offering a reduced pamphlet version of the book on the left side of page C3. Right under the paper's name at the top readers found its motto: No Fear -- No Favor - The People's Paper.
With one exception I've kept the line lengths of the ad, thus the odd look.
"In healthy women the constant use of douches or the routine use of them for indefinite periods is not advisable. They are not required for mere cleanliness; in fact, they may interfere in a measure with the normal germicidal vaginal contents, which nature has provided to to keep the vagina in a healthy condition and to protect the structures above." [That's today's view.]
[About Mrs. Chalmers's menstrual cup, the reviewer quotes Dr. Emil Novak's book The Woman Asks the Doctor (Chalmers also uses Novak as an authority):]
Only a limited number of women could wear these appliances. They could not be used in young unmarried girls, in married women who as a result of previous pregnancies have considerable relaxation of the vagina, or in women with excessive bleeding. [Note the assumption that unmarried means not having had sexual intercourse, an assumption invalid today and then, but which upheld a certain moral standard.]
[The final blow:]
It seems erroneous to base health habits exclusively on a desire for "That irresistable power which lovely women have over strong forceful men" when one reflects that the majority of our habits are well established before we reach adolescence.
Most nurses who are asked by their patients to recommend a book will prefer one which is written by a recognized medical authority. [Do I hear "Ouch!" caused by stepping on toes?]
WOMEN ONLY [Oh, boy, that's catnip for, um, certain guys! See another shamelessly provocative ad, from 1892.]
A fascinating, informative 20
page booklet by the noted author
on feminine hygiene, Mrs. Leona
Chalmers. It tells about an
amazing NEW METHOD which
does away completely with tam-
pons or sanitary pads. Praised
by dancers, actresses
[who also praised early tampons]
and thousands of women in all walks of
life. SEND NO MONEY. Limited
supply of booklets.
Send for this fascinating Booklet
Write to Mrs. Leona Chalmers,
requesting a copy of her famous
booklet "An Intimate Side of a
Woman's Life." You will be
amazed and intrigued at what
this booklet discloses. There is
no obligation or cost to you.
Mrs. Leona Chalmers
TASSETTE, 170 Atlantic Square
Stamford, Connecticut
Please send me the booklet "An Inti-
mate Side of a Woman's Life". [sic] I
understand that there is absolutely
no cost or obligation on my part

In the same month and year a much slicker ad for Tassette appeared in Ebony, p. 148, a magazine aimed at the African-American market. It might surprise you to see many whites in the ads. Articles within use the capitalized words Negro and White.
Later ads for Tassette.

NEXT | covers, introduction, review & ad - contents - foreword by Dr. Pugh - introduction by Chalmers - Ch. I: Female Pelvic Organs (& illustrations) - Ch. II: Displacement of the Pelvic Organs (illus.) - Ch. III: Constipation (illus.) - Chapter IV: Menstrual Pains (bathing during menstruation) - Ch. V: Leucorrhea ("The Thief of Womanly Charm," tie to overstimulation without gratification, illus.) - Ch. VI: Vaginal Hygiene ("Techniques in Douching," menstrual cups, illus.) - Ch. VII: Woman's Problems: Marital Relations, "The Safe Period," Our Daughters, petting & necking, Beauty Your Birthright, ornamentation, plastic surgery - Ch. VIII: General Body Hygiene and Exercises (armpits, mouth, nose, scalp, feet, breasts, moulding the breasts (you read that correctly), exercising the vagina (this is NOT taking it out for a walk) - Chapter IX: Conclusion
German douche and menstrual supplies in 1933 when the Nazis came to power.
The "Mon Docteur" Way to Health[,] Vitality[,] and Beauty (1928-29?From the same company: The 20th Century Song Book (1904, complete pamphlet), Home Treatment for Women (before 1920?, complete)
From Dr R. V. Pierce: Ladies Note Book and Calendar (1914), The People's Common Sense Medical Adviser in Plain English; or, Medicine Simplified (1895) Excerpts show the variety of physical therapy equipment and possible sexual usage.
From Lydia Pinkham
Medicine Company:
Private Text-Book Upon Ailments Peculiar to Women (complete), Home Talks (complete pamphlet), Come into the Kitchen (complete pamphlet), Fruits and Candies (complete pamphlet), The Happy Baby (complete pamphlet), Landmarks of New England (complete pamphlet), Stretching Your Dollar (complete pamphlet) - MORE IN COLUMN AT LEFT
Read 1930s criticism of Zonite and Lysol.

Many more

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