CONTRIBUTE to Humor, Words and expressions about menstruation and Would you stop menstruating if you could?
Some MUM site links:
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Essay directory |
Examination, gynecological (pelvic) (short history) |
Extraction |
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Famous women in menstrual hygiene ads |
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Norwegian menstruation exhibit |
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Olor |
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Religión y menstruación |
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Tampon directory |
Early tampons |
Teen ads directory |
Tour of the former museum (video) |
Towel, pad, sanitary napkin directory |
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.

The Museum of Menstruation and Women's Health

Ads for Tampax, Lotus, and Holly-Pax tampons
Sears, Roebuck catalog, probably late 1930s-early 1940s

Sometime at the end of the 1930s or early 1940s the American company Sears, Roebuck printed these offerings at the top of page 709 in the "notions" section, Merriam-Webster defining notions as "small useful items," which they certainly were and are. And Sears advertised Wix tampons in its 1934 catalog (see that and more early ads for Wix on the same page).

Wix, Lotus and Holly-Pax - "A product of Hollywood" with a curvy lady on the box maybe showing its utility for an actress as were other tampons  - all disappeared decades ago.

Only mighty Tampax remains!

Tampons  directory
Pad, towel, napkin directory
I thank the anonymous donor of the scan!

Are you laughing at yesterday's problems? I hope so.
Below: The top of a page in a Sears, Roebuck catalog from the late 1930s
or early 1940s. Commercial tampons had only been on the market at most
a decade
and women were still reluctant to buy them.
At about this time the Dutch advertised Tampax.

Below and at right: Enlargements. Great ski outfit, huh?

Below: Like Holly-Pax, at right, Lotus (see the box and contents) had no insertion tube, a common situation in the first decade of commercial tampons in America. Gift of Procter & Gamble.
Below: This box differs from the one in the ad. Somewhere in MUM's archives I have another box I believe identical to the one above. The Tampax company bought the Holly-Pax as well as Wix companies in 1939. Gift of Tambrands.

Below: A box from 1940 very much like the one in the ad. Actually, Tampax boxes changed
 little in the company's early decades. Someone from Tampax wrote on the box.
See more late 30s, early 40s Tampax boxes in the MUM collection. See a very early Tampax
and its newspaper ads
Gift of the company.


© 2012 Harry Finley. It is illegal to reproduce or distribute work on this Web site in any manner or
medium without written permission of the author. Please report suspected violations to hfinley@mum.org