See some Kotex first-campaign ads: general discussion and ad prototype - January 1921 - May 1921 - November 1921
See the Kotex stick tampon.
See more Kotex items: First ad (1921) - ad 1928 (Sears and Roebuck catalog) - Marjorie May's Twelfth Birthday (booklet for girls, 1928, Australian edition; there are many links here to Kotex items) - 1920s booklet in Spanish showing disposal method - box from about 1969 - Preparing for Womanhood (1920s, booklet for girls) - "Are you in the know?" ads (Kotex) (1949)(1953)(1964)(booklet, 1956) - See more ads on the Ads for Teenagers main page
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.

Newspaper ads for Kotex menstrual pads, 1920s (U.S.A.)
Nurse Buckland lived! Nurse Maxfield lived, probably. But Mary Pauline Callender? Apparently, yes.

(Ads with Jean Maxfield and newspaper notices and more ads with Ellen Buckland are here.)

In the 1920s and 30s three women often appeared in Kotex ads: Ellen J. Buckland, G.N. (graduate nurse) and Jean Maxfield, G.N., below, and Mary Pauline Callender, the author of the Marjorie May series of booklets for Kotex (example). She's mentioned as a real person in an ad entitled H. C. Capwell's.

A genealogy researcher who has generously contributed many ads and information to this site investigated both women. She writes,

I started looking for Ellen Buckland and I find her working as a nurse in 1920 at Children's Memorial Hospital, on Fullerton Ave. in Chicago, Illinois. She is 39 in 1920, from Appleton, Wisconsin, single, and her parents are Comfort S. (born in Ohio, served in the Union army in the Civil War) and Katherine L. Buckland (New York). She has a sister, Lucy Reeve, who is widowed, and a nephew in Wisconsin named John P. Reeve and a niece Theodora Reeve. In 1930, she is back living at 850 Prospect Street in Appleton, Wisconsin, and she is still a nurse working for a paper mill. So, that mill is probably one of Kimberly-Clark's paper mills. . . .

Here is another Kotex nurse in an ad [Jean Maxfield]. The most interesting thing is she is supposedly an assistant to the invisible, never making-a-public-appearance society lady, Mary Pauline Callender [alleged author of the Marjorie May series of pamphlets for pubescent girls]. One problem is this is Jean Maxfield's married name so she got married between 1930-1935, which means I don't know her maiden name and records are limited after 1930. I think her husband is Lorin Maxfield (b. 1915) but I am not positive; I found a public record from 2002 that indicates he was still living then but she died 1992 in California.  Also, these are the only two ads about her, 1935 and 1938, but the second ad does not refer to Mary Callender, in fact it doesn't even call MRS. Maxfield a nurse any longer. Hmm? . . .

The following made me wonder if 1926 is when Kotex went from real women (like Buckland and Lee Miller, the first real woman in a Kotex ad) to fictional characters like Callender, plus I wonder who was doing the ads before him [Wallace Meyer; I named the chair my oldest cat occupies after him] [the following comes from - no, that's right]:

[Ad man Albert] Lasker landed the account (Kotex) in 1926. Lasker's pitch combined a campaign to inform school boards and other organizations nation-wide about Kotex, and how teachers could perform a valuable service by telling female students about feminine hygiene. Then he convinced the editors of Ladies Home Journal to publish an article about menstruation. Finally he devised a way for women to buy the product without embarrassment. Newspaper ads told them that "Kotex", in a wrapped package that gave no clue as to its identity, would be available in shops and did not even have to be asked for by name. The customer could put 50 cents in a box near a pile of packages, take one, and walk out.

 More evidence he probably invented Callender:

When Lasker discovered Palmolive the soap was an "also ran" product. Lasker saw opportunity in the green color and palm/olive oil contents. Lasker took the Palmolive account and insisted that all Palmolive advertising be focused around the idea of beauty, not cleansing. This was the beginning of the shift from information to storytelling in advertising. Lasker joined Palmolive's excellent "beauty story" with a coupon program which allowed customers to obtain a sample of the product. Within three years time Palmolive was the world's number one selling soap (from [Read more about Lasker here, bottom of page.]

But her search for the likely Ms. Callender failed. Does anyone out there have any information about her? She is mentioned in an ad for H. C. Capwell's so I think she existed.

Read the commentary between the two ads.

I again thank the industrious and generous genealogy researcher for these ads!

Ads with Jean Maxfield and newspaper notices and more ads with Ellen Buckland are here.

Above: from the Syracuse [New York] Herald, November 25, 1923. The center woman could step out of an Aubrey Beardsley drawing, England's greatest artist (just my opinion). Isn't the drawing great? And everyone looks so formal - and rich (except the nurse). (See a crude Beardsleyesque drawing in a Japanese ad for menstrual pad belts from the early 20th century.) But rich was a theme in many early Kotex ads, as in this beautiful one from 1923 - and read the third line in the ad below.
Talk about the war and nurses refers of course to how nurses in World War I used Kimberly-Clark bandages as menstrual pads. The first ad says this better.
Below: from the Indianapolis [Indiana] Daily Star, July 13, 1924. The woman at right looks like the actress Louise Brooks, a B actress at the time of the ad but in four years she would make two silent films ("Diary of a Schoolgirl" and "Pandora's Box") that would cause the French to name her one of the two greatest actresses of all time (the other one being Maria Falconetti, in "Joan of Arc.") Those French! Alright, back to menstruation.
This ad offers a booklet- read under "Easy to get KOTEX" - which might have been similar to this Kotex booklet from 1933.
And "old-time 'sanitary' makeshifts" means washable pads, the way probably most women absorbed their menstrual discharge in the 19th century and before - IF they used anything at all.

CONTINUED: Ads with Jean Maxfield and newspaper notices and more ads with Ellen Buckland are here.
See some Kotex first-campaign ads:
general discussion and ad prototype - January 1921 -
May 1921 - November 1921 - See more newspaper ads for Kotex and other items

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