Dutch booklet for menarcheal girls - Early Dutch Tampax ads - Early Dutch booklet for Camelia pads - Dutch exhibit about menstruation, 1982 (article) - Dutch Nefa menstrual pad ads, 1938, 1967 - early brochure for the German Amira (1950s)
German and French menstrual ads using nudity.
The tampon page
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 |
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 |
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, some current |
Puberty booklets for girls and parents|
Religion |
Religión y menstruación |
Your remedies for menstrual discomfort |
Menstrual products safety |
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) |
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 Original Museum of Menstruation (MUM) in Harry Finley's House Basement, 1994-1998 (& reaction to it), P. 1
The physical museum doesn't exist anymore. MUM lives only on this Web site. Cartoon strip about a visit to this museum.
The future of this museum.

All photos except opening day by Harry Finley

In the mid-1990s founder Harry Finley stood (above) next to a sanitary apron he commissioned Dr. Ann Wass to create based on a Sears, Roebuck 1914 catalog illustration. The long rubber apron in back (scroll down) protected the woman's clothing from stains. On the clothes line hung a piece of diaper cloth, showing what many women wore to absorb menstrual flow and then washed, mainly in earlier America. Some might have pinned it inside the holder of a sanitary apron. More photos of the museum at the bottom of this page.

See a more recent picture of Finley (bottom of page).

Using his own funds and spare time, Harry Finley researched, designed, built, wrote and mounted text, and ran the museum
while working full time as a graphic designer for the federal government in Washington, D.C.  He bought the mannequins.
Many companies (like Tambrands and Procter & Gamble) and individuals donated items to the archives that Finley bought.
The museum - MUM, MUseum of Menstruation - replaced a newsletter,
Catamenia, that he had published for a couple of years. He designed
and started this Web site in 1996, which he has researched, written, created the graphics for, and run ever since. Bio.
Among the about 1500 visitors over the four years were
  • Kara Swisher "Silicon Valley’s Most Feared and Well-Liked Journalist" (she called herself Sherlock Homo in New York magazine). She popped in (scroll down to "Washington Post Investigated ...") on the museum's opening day (31 July 1994) when she worked for The Washington Post. The Post ran a long story about MUM by Megan Rosenfeld the following spring (15 April 1995).
  • Dr. Katherine Ott, the former curator of the medical division at the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History, which houses the Smithsonian's menstruation items. A Smithsonian Fellow when she visited, she brought six of her fellow Fellows with her and donated unusual patents as museum-warming gifts.
  • Dr. Alice Dan, a founder and the-then president of The Society for Menstrual Cycle Research.
  • Dr. Philip Thomson, Honorary Curator in Medical History at the Tasmanian Museum (Australia) and Winston Churchill Fellow, told me when he visited MUM (in 1995) that he "almost drove off the road in shock" on the way to work one morning listening to the
    16-minute radio tour of this museum by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.
  • Megan Hicks, Curator of Medicine at Australia's largest museum, The Powerhouse, in Sydney. Her museum will get the MUM archives unless a suitable replacement for MUM is found before I die. Our two museums have exchanged menstrual artifacts and information (Powerhouse to MUM, and here; MUM to Powerhouse, and here).
  • Writers of later books about menstruation, including Karen Houppert (The Curse, also the title of an earlier book by Janice Delaney, Mary Jane Lupton, and Emily Toth), Dr. Lara Freidenfels (The Modern Period), Dr. Sharra Vostral (Under Wraps, also the name of an earlier Canadian TV production by Starry Night Productions that included this museum), Dr. Elizabeth Kissling (Capitalizing on the Curse), and Elissa Stein (Flow: The Cultural Story of Menstruation). Some used material from MUM's archives for ideas and research.
  • The lab (minus the director) at the Johns Hopkins Department of Biophysics that developed the Instead menstrual cup.
  • The head of American education at Tambrands, Dr. Iris Prager, with her son (who appeared in a Tampax educational video) and some advertising staff.
  • TV and audio crews from the U.S., Canada, Australia, Germany, and Switzerland. (More media information.)
  • TV folks from Comedy Central's Daily Show, and crews from Howard Stern's radio and TV programs.
  • Many print journalists.
  • A class with its teacher from the University of Maryland.
  • And . . . you, maybe, among the many often anonymous visitors I was happy to see and talk with.
Part of the museum is in boxes. The 4000-5000 items in the archives are back from storage and in my basement.

But zip to the FUTURE!

I want you to create a new, larger and permanent museum to teach and entertain the public. I know that many women object to my having created the museum because I'm a male. For that reason I will relinquish any role in developing and running a new one if necessary and will donate the MUM archives to a suitable replacement, including to an existing museum under certain conditions. I'll help if you want, including with money if I'm ever able to. More about the future of this museum here.
NEXT large pictures. Or click on these views of the museum. See another tour of the museum.

Opening day, Sunday
31 July 1994. Harry
Finley talks to people
outside and inside the
picture frame.

Mannequins hanging
from fishing line wear
underpants designed to
hold menstrual pads next
to a suspended 2-page ad
in the French Elle for
tampons that continued
on the reverse for another
2 pages.

The first large Kotex ad
campaign, 1921, on
a hanging display.

At left, a table holds 2
mannequins, one wearing
a Kotex belt and pad, the
other a modern washable
belt and pad. At right,
miscellaneous ads
and the beginning of a
timeline of menstrual

On the wall, a timeline
of menstrual products.

A mannequin suspended
from the ceiling wears
menstrual underpants.

A member of the lab at
Johns Hopkins that developed
the Instead menstrual cup
donated her Halloween

A re-creation of a 1914
Sears, Roebuck menstrual

Founder and designer of
the museum
Harry Finley
stands next to the menstrual
and diaper cloth
pinned to a clothes line.

© 2015 Harry Finley. It is illegal to reproduce or distribute any of the work on
this Web site in any manner or medium without written permission of the
author. Please report suspected violations to hfinley@mum.org