Things began to change in the mids.
Between and the year the Kotex was first marketed , the U. Patent Office granted patents for menstrual or catamenial devices.
One of these patented products is advertised in the American Druggist. Click to enlarge.
The real shift in feminine hygiene products came in the s and s. During World War I, nurses at the front lines used absorbent Cellucotton, a Kimberly-Clark product made from wood pulp, both to bandage soldiers as intended and to absorb menstrual blood.
After the war, Kimberly-Clark developed Cellucotton into Kotex, introducing the product in This was not the first commercial sanitary napkin; earlier brands appeared for sale through mail-order catalogs. But it was the first to get a hard-won advertising campaign, which began in Below are two early advertisements for Kotex, which appeared in Hygeia in and are both geared to nurses. We love that the coupon from the September ad has been clipped and, presumably, mailed in for a free sample. Kotex ad in Hygeia Magazine , September Kotex ad in Hygeia Magazine , November While Hygeia does not appear to have run ads for Kotex prior to , it did advertise an absorbent cotton on the back cover of its volumes in Gauzets ads from Hygeia Magazine , published in January and November The first widespread commercial tampon arrived in the s: Physician Earle Cleveland Haas received a patent for his applicator tampon in , which he named Tampax.
He distributed his product beginning in These early ads show the hurdles Tampax had to overcome to win wide acceptance from consumers and doctors. Despite the worries of physicians, early tampons were safe. In fact, our main concern with tampon use today, Toxic Shock Syndrome TSS , was only linked to tampon use about 40 years after their debut.
But non-synthetic, less absorbent tampons pose little threat, and the bacteria that causes TSS is present and active in only a small percentage of people. In less than years, menstrual supplies have moved from mostly homemade affairs to mass-market items available in stores, from products hidden away at the back of mail-order catalogs to some of the most commonly advertised goods in the United States.
The advances of the s and s still impact our lives, as sanitary napkins, tampons, and cups remain go-to products, improved upon over time but not abandoned. Kidd LK. Average Review.
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