More menstrual and everyday underpants
Japanese, early 20th century - "Sanitary Bloomers," 1922 (ad from Sears, Roebuck catalog, U.S.A.) - various underpants, 1928 (page from Sears, Roebuck catalog) - step-in, Hickory, 1928 (ad from Vanity Fair magazine, U.S.A.) - first Sears everyday panties (nonmenstrual), 1935 (ad from Sears, Roebuck catalog) - various panties (and belts), 1946-47 (page from Sears, Roebuck catalog) - various panties, 1960s (part of Personal Digest, Modess, U.S.A.) - SheShells panties (1970s)
See ads for menarche-education booklets: Marjorie May's Twelfth Birthday (Kotex, 1932), Tampax tampons (1970, with Susan Dey), Personal Products (1955, with Carol Lynley), and German o.b. tampons (lower ad, 1981)
See also the booklets How shall I tell my daughter? (Modess, various dates), and Growing up and liking it (Modess, various dates)
And read Lynn Peril's series about these and similar booklets!
Read the full text of the 1935 Canadian edition of Marjorie May's Twelfth Birthday, probably identical to the American edition.
Is this the first Tampax tampon? Go to Early Commercial Tampons
Other early commercial tampons - Main Tampax patent - Ad from 1936 - World War II Tampax sign
More ads for teens (see also introductory page for teenage advertising): Are you in the know? (Kotex napkins and Quest napkin powder, 1948, U.S.A.), Are you in the know? (Kotex napkins and belts, 1949, U.S.A.)Are you in the know? (Kotex napkins, 1953, U.S.A.), Are you in the know? (Kotex napkins and belts, 1964, U.S.A.), Freedom (1990, Germany), Kotex (1992, U.S.A.), Pursettes (1974, U.S.A.), Pursettes (1974, U.S.A.), Saba (1975, Denmark)
See early tampons and a list of tampon on this site - at least the ones I've cataloged.
CONTRIBUTE to Humor, Words and expressions about menstruation and Would you stop menstruating if you could?
Some MUM site links:
homepageMUM 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.

Sanitary Panty-Kini, menstrual underpants, by Modess, 1960s-1970s

Once upon a time women escaped wearing menstrual napkin belts (here) with pads by putting on specially made panties to hold the often thick pad in place. You see one method below on a plastic mannequin that used to hang in the physical Museum of Menstruation (see more here): two elastic bands in the crotch gripped the pad. The maker, Modess (Personal Products Company), also made menstrual pads, belts and booklets explaining menstruation to girls.

The box containing the panty calls it a "neat little nothing of a panty" but not so nothing that it doesn't do a job women have struggled with for millennia.

A doctor's wife in her 60s visiting the museum sat next to this mannequin for an hour and could not bring herself to more than glance at it. She told me that she had to wear such things when younger and felt mortified sitting there. She had brought her niece who was gleefully videotaping the museum for a college project.

The donor wants to remain anonymous.

The Modess pad in the panty, typical in its fatness, creates a bulge that women wanted to conceal, often by
wearing not pants but a dress. Horrors! if a male should discover she was menstruating.
Harry Finley took all the photos.



The crotch of the panty shows two bands holding a genuine Modess tabbed napkin. The long central depression results from a woman's (or plastic mannequin's) thighs squashing the pad, which increases rubbing and discomfort, something women have complained about at least since the 1920s and probably forever. (Read a medical report about this.) Modess did not indent the pad to accommodate this but today's larger pads often do.

See a booklet recommending the Panti-Kini. More menstrual and everyday underpants
Japanese, early 20th century - "Sanitary Bloomers," 1922 (ad from Sears, Roebuck catalog, U.S.A.)

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