See more Kotex items: 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
Menstrual products in the Montgomery Ward & Co. catalog, Fall-Winter,
Mail order catalogs in America meant much in the last part of the nineteenth
century and in the twentieth, especially to people in rural areas, who couldn't
easily visit large stores for the variety they offered. Montgomery Ward
offered one of the first catalogs, before Sears, Roebuck did (see two 1928
sections - menstrual belts and underwear
- from the Sears catalog).
The language of the ads has a humorous quality, to me, anyhow, reminiscent
of the L. L. Bean catalog ad copy, especially of 20 years and more ago.
Individual sections are enlarged BELOW the
large top image!
Six images, long download!
Special underwear protected women from leaking
menstrual blood onto their clothing. Sears, Roebuck
sold protective underwear through the 1960s, and
some companies today sell similar things. See a fancy
sanitary apron on a mannequin that the Sears,
catalog advertised in 1914 and a kit for traveling women.
Look how cheap postage was! Of course,
two cents bought a lot more then.
Read the ad, above left, for indications of the ways women's
dress had recently changed.
Even though disposable pads had already appeared in America
(Curads, by 1920; Kotex,
in 1921), many women in succeeding decades still used washable
pads, at left, (here are modern washable
pads from Canada and the U.S.A. and from India
and old Norwegian and Italian
pads) because they were cheap, among other reasons. One regular Kotex sold
at this time for about five cents (see an ad);
the washable pad above was 21 cents, but a woman wore it many times.
Women flushed the disposable pads, at right,
but this undoubtedly led to stoppages. See other supposedly flushable
Copyright Harry Finley 2006