Confidets ad from 1961 and the actual pad and box from 1967.
See the complete 1969 edition of How Shall I Tell My Daughter? (Modess pads and tampons).
See some covers of How shall I tell my daughter? and an excerpt from the 1969 edition.
CONTRIBUTE to Humor, Words and expressions about menstruation and Would you stop menstruating if you could?
Some MUM site links:
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Who runs this museum?? |
Amazing women! |
Art of menstruation |
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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.
Leer la versión en español de los siguientes temas: Anticoncepción y religión, Breve reseña - Olor - Religión y menstruación - Seguridad de productos para la menstruación.

World of a girl, puberty and menstruation booklet, Confidets sanitary napkins, 1965, U.S.A.
Complete booklet

In America, probably starting in the 1920s, several companies produced booklets for girls (and sometimes their parents) who needed information about puberty but especially menstruation. Kotex seems to have been the first but Modess pads, Beltx napkin belts, Pursettes lubricated tampons, and o.b. tampons (see the whole list on this site) later saw the need and advantage and printed theirs. Companies also created film strips, movies and videos for schools often combined with teachers' manuals (more here), and pads and tampons to give to the kids.

What the companies did was replace the parents as the source of information about menstruation and how to handle it. But most modern American parents hardly know how to talk about it; Oh, the stories I heard from visitors to the physical museum! Joan Jacobs Brumberg of Cornell University bares the truth about this in "'Something Happens to Girls': Menarche and the Emergence of the Modern American Hygienic Imperative" in the Journal of the History of Sexuality, 1993, vol. 4, no. 1., and by Lynn Peril on this MUM Web site. Prof. Brumberg recently [1997] wrote The Body Project, a history of cultural attitudes toward the girl's body in America - read it!

In 1978 Consumer Reports magazine wrote that American women preferred Confidets to all other pads, according to Nancy Friedman in her book Everything You Must Know About Tampons (Berkley Books, New York 1980; Ms. Friedman praised this museum in response to my radio - and simultaneous TV - interview with Howard Stern), shoving aside the more famous Kotex and Modess. The reason might have been the tapered shape: women have more room at the top of their vulvas for a pad, the thighs and buttocks compressing the material at the rear - and the disposal bags (see other disposal bags ). Both might have been firsts in the industry.

See a diagram showing a similar anatomical problem, that of why the tabs on pads using belts (like this one; it would be years before the familiar stick-in-panties pads appeared, like Stayfree) had to be longer in the back. Roping (twisting the pad) and the pad's shifting were problems the companies - and women! - have always dealt with, usually unsuccessfully.

Scott Paper Company brought the brand out in 1961 but discontinued it in the 1980s.

The stylish and colorful illustrations return to the first illustrations for such booklets, in the Marjorie May series ((stylish but not colorful), and other booklets of the time made similar paintings. They show white, middle-to-upper class girls with fashion-model faces and bodies unlike the more average girls and women in the 1940 Kotex As One Girl to Another and That day is here again . . . from 1944 - although there's not a fat one or non-white in the bunch. The implied wealth connects it to early Kotex magazine ads.

Confidets ad from 1961 and the actual pad and box from 1967.

Thanks again to the Dutch contributor of these scans!

Below: Back (at left) and front covers.

NEXT pages. Covers, pp. 1, 2-5, 6-9, 10-13, 14-17. Confidets ad from 1961 and the actual pad and box from 1967. See the complete 1969 edition of How Shall I tell My Daughter? (Modess pads and tampons) See some covers of How shall I tell my daughter? and an excerpt and funny story from the 1969 edition. See also Personal Digest and Growing up and liking it from the same company, and Lynn Peril's article about such booklets.


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