Tampax tampon from the early 1930s - Main Tampax patent - Ad from 1936 - World War II Tampax sign - Go to early commercial tampons page.
See a real American douche set from the 1920s.
See also Australian douche ad (ca. 1900) - Fresca douche powder (U.S.A.) (date ?) - Kotique douche liquid ad, 1974 (U.S.A.) - Liasan (1) genital wash ad, 1980s (Germany) - Liasan (2) genital wash ad, 1980s (Germany) - Lysol douche liquid ad, 1928 (U.S.A.) - Lysol douche liquid ad, 1948 (U.S.A.) - Marvel douche liquid ad, 1928 (U.S.A.) - Midol menstrual pain pill ad, 1938 (U.S.A.) - Midol booklet (selections), 1959 (U.S.A.) - Mum deodorant cream ad, 1926 (U.S.A.) - Myzone menstrual pain pill, 1952 (Australia) - Pristeen genital spray ad, 1969 (U.S.A.) - Spalt pain tablets, 1936 (Germany) - Sterizol douche liquid ad, 1926 (U.S.A.) - Vionell genital spray ad, 1970, with Cheryl Tiegs (Germany) - Zonite douche ad, 1928 (U.S.A.)
Vaginal hygiene in The Intimate Side of a Woman's Life, by Leona W. Chalmers (1937, Pioneer Publications, Inc., Radio City, New York), with photo of American bulb syringe from the 1960s or 1970s.
***The Perils of Vaginal Douching*** (essay by Luci Capo Rome) - the odor page
CONTRIBUTE to Humor, Words and expressions about menstruation and Would you stop menstruating if you could?
Some MUM site links:
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.

Medical (not menstrual) tampons, U.S.A., 1890s - 1910s
In newspaper advice columns, an article, and in a menu parody

Using the word tampon in medical advice columns in newspapers (as in the last two texts on this page), without explanation, shows that average reader must have been familiar with the term. But commercial tampons explicitly for menstruation didn't appear until the early 1930s (see Tampax, Wix and fax). Women have probably always made their own menstrual tampons. A woman told me that she heard from a German employer that his female relatives sewed their own tampons around 1900.

Doctors and others have used tampons for thousands of years. A famous mid 20th century American physician even wrote that "tampons used to pay the office rent." One early example is for contraception in an ancient Egyptian text (here). Any wound or orifice needing a cylindrical object to carry medicine did the trick.

I thank again the genealogist who has contributed so many newspaper items for these.

Below left: Atlanta [Georgia] Constitution, April 21, 1894. The arrow toward the bottom of the column points to the tampon. Below right: Trenton [New Jersey] Evening News, November 17, 1897. The tampon is about in the middle of the menu.
 Below: Trenton [New Jersey] Evening News, May 11, 1921.
 Below: Trenton [New Jersey] Evening News, March 6, 1920.

See the short-lived Pond medical tampon from 1910 - Tampax tampon from the early 1930s - Main Tampax patent - Ad from 1936 - World War II Tampax sign

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