See more Kotex items: First ad (1921; scroll to bottom of page) - ad 1928 (Sears and Roebuck catalog) - Lee Miller ads (first real person in a menstrual hygiene ad, 1928) - Marjorie May's Twelfth Birthday (booklet for girls, 1928, Australian edition; there are many links here to Kotex items) - Preparing for Womanhood (1920s, booklet for girls; Australian edition) - 1920s booklet in Spanish showing disposal method - box from about 1969 - "Are you in the know?" ads (Kotex) (1949)(1953)(1964)(booklet, 1956) - See more ads on the Ads for Teenagers main page
As One Girl to Another (complete booklet, 1940, Kotex, U.S.A.) - Teacher's kit (complete, early 1950s, Personal Products Corp., U.S.A.) - Shame in menstrual hygiene. A very early Tampax ad (1936)
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.

Kotex menstrual napkin box and pad, 1930s? (U.S.A.)

Kotex was the first widely successful disposable pad in the U.S.A. (Read about its first advertising campaign and see its first ad.)

Although many pads competed with it for women's attention in the 1920s, its main challenger was Modess pads, a brand that stopped making its"hospital" pads with belt tabs in 2001. Johnson & Johnson, maker of Modess, commissioned a famous study (1927) to find out what women wanted in menstrual protection, and launched a fierce competitor to Kotex.

The box is huge, as are the pads, two things that the J&J survey found irritated buyers, who wanted anonymity and comfort besides ease of buying.

Look at the faint perforations above the "ote" and to the left of "x"; these enabled the user to punch open the box to get the pads. The box measures 15.75" wide x 8.5" high x 5.5" deep (ca. 40 x 22 x 14.2 cm).
The Kotex blue was famous and mentioned in the 1927 Gilbreth report to Johnson & Johnson; it's not clear if it relates to the other famous blue, the blue liquid sometimes showing the absorbing capacity of menstrual products.
The above end of the box does not have perforations to be pressed to make an opening for withdrawing the pads; the other end, below, does.
One end opens along perforations to allow removal of pads.


I cut off the bottom tab in the picture to save room. The darkened tabs result from a black background when scanning and show the coarse gauze, which envelopes the entire pad. Customers often objected to the discomfort the gauze caused.
An early Kotex ad (1921) states that its pad measured 22" (ca. 55.9 cm) long, tab end to tab end, with the absorbing part 9" x 3.5" (ca. 22.9 x 8.9 cm). The pad "body" above is slightly smaller, measuring 8.5" long x 2.75" wide (ca. 22 x 7 cm); total length, including tabs, which fit into the clasps of a belt or are pinned to a belt, 18" (ca. 46 cm). The long tab is 5.5" (ca. 14 cm) long, the short one 4" (ca. 10 cm). The short tab attaches to the belt in front of the body (see a diagram showing why).

See Kotex pads from the 1960s and 1970s - As One Girl to Another (complete booklet, 1940, Kotex, U.S.A.)

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