Read some of the ethnic jokes that appeared in this and the May issue from 1936.
Underpants & panties directory
Read a Personal Products booklet for older girls from about this time, The Periodic Cycle (1938). See similar booklets on this site.
See also How shall I tell my daughter? and Personal Digest and read the whole booklet As One Girl to Another (Kotex, 1940).
See a Kotex ad advertising a Marjorie May booklet.
See many more similar booklets.
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.

The Museum of Menstruation and Women's Health

Venus menstrual pads and panties ad, 1936

The Venus Corporation advertised its pads (see another ad and see a pad and box) and underpants in The American Girl magazine (published by the Girl Scouts of America), June 1936.

Words from Greek and Roman times, like Venus, used to appear much more often on products, reflecting a greater familiarity with them. Kids actually took Latin and Greek in high school, which is rare today. Two of the earliest ads for menstrual belts in the Sears catalog bore the names Diana, goddess of the hunt, moon, and virgins; and Venus, goddess of love.

It seems a tad bold for the company to advertise in the official Girl Scout magazine. But kids are always one step ahead of you, anyway.

I can't resist it: read some of the ethnic jokes that appeared in this and the May issue from 1936. See the underpants & panties directory.



 The Belt-N-Pantee appears enlarged below.
 The small words from the ad at left appear enlarged above.


Tight-fitting women's underpants - briefs & panties, above - probably came into general use about this time (1936), at least by the evidence of the Sears, Roebuck catalog. Up to then women wore long, loose-fitting "boxer" type underpants for everyday wear, although for menstrual purposes "sanitary panties" go back to at least the early 1920s (apparently originally for over-night use), and look like babies' diaper underpants from the early decades of the twentieth century (also sold through the Sears catalog).
Women and babies both involuntarily produce secretions, to put it politely, and tight-fitting underpants hold absorbent material against the body. Belts by themselves couldn't do a good job of keeping a pad in place, especially at night. Commercial tampons didn't appear until the early 1930s and faced many barriers to acceptance.
The women on the 1912 British Olympic swimming team in Stockholm wore tight-fitting trunks under a nearly full-body covering, so the concept was alive at least by then.
I have read that underpants were most recently developed in the early 19th century, in England, when girls were asked to become more athletic in schools. The underpants shielded their genitals from view. The idea then spread to France.
A visitor to this museum reasonably suggested that the available fabrics determined what kind of underpants, or any clothing, could be developed at any given time.

I can't resist it: read some of the ethnic jokes that appeared in this and the May issue from 1936.
Underpants & panties directory

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