See other o.b. ads: French (, 1989) - German (early 1950s) - German (1970s) - German nude (1970s) - French (1989) - German ("Egyptian," 1970s)

What does o.b. mean?

A British Tampax ad using nudity (1992) - And see other ads directed at teenagers.

See a Modess True or False? ad in The American Girl magazine, January 1947, and actress Carol Lynley in "How Shall I Tell My Daughter" booklet ad (1955) - Modess . . . . because ads (many dates).
CONTRIBUTE to Humor, Words and expressions about menstruation and Would you stop menstruating if you could?
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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.

o.b. (obé) menstrual tampons, highly absorbent, Switzerland, 1970

Witty cover design! Germans, at least, pronounce ob as oh-bay and I suspect the French do, too. And obé would sound the same unless it came out oh-bay A (long American A). I know that Germans find Swiss German hard to understand, so maybe a different pronunciation is involved. OK, so maybe it's more of a visual play. And the é, of course, stands for économique, French for economical.

Much later, an ad agency - French? - tricked up o.b., making the two letters, tiny like the tampon, expand to a large number to show the number of women who used o.b. Witty!

By the end of the decade highly absorbent tampons would be big news because of toxic shock (more here about Rely tampon).

What does o.b. mean?

Two more Swiss tampons, maybe: Sanpax and Primella.

Tambrands, former maker of Tampax tampons (now part of Procter & Gamble), kindly donated the box as part of a large gift from its archives.

Above: Someone at Tampax annotated the label. The French reads "economy box." The box measures 5" x 2.0625" x 4.25" (12.6 x 5.2 x 2.6 cm).
Above: The German reads the same as the French, top picture, but the price is still in franc (Fr.) - but not the French, the Swiss.
Above: "With free pocket pouch."
Above: The city "Basel" in the address gave away its Swiss origin and intended market. The company, headquartered in Germany at the time - the American company Johnson & Johnson would buy it shortly - probably had distributers throughout the world.
Above: "High absorbency" in the three languages of Switzerland (Italian at lower right). I wonder if a smaller Italian market (Latin conservatism about using tampons) is the reason these are the only - but important - Italian words on the box.

NEXT pocket pouch - tampon - instructions

See other o.b. ads: French (, 1989) - German (early 1950s) - German nude (1970s) - German ("Egyptian," 1970s) - A British Tampax ad using nudity (1992) - And see other ads directed at teenagers.

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