Every month you probably think at least once why me, why does this have to happen to me? Yup, you probably suffer from the period blues, the majority of us women go through it. The most astounding part of it all is now in 2015 we actually have it pretty good compared to women back in the day. Take a step back in time and see how women used to have to cope with their periods before technology really kicked in!
They have to be kidding when they describe this as satisfying and comfortable. This product served as a rubber lining that women put in their underwear and worn over the buttocks. It served as a “catcher” (for lack of a better word) and often would be heavy and smelly. That doesn’t sound like a “satisfaction guaranteed” moment for me!
Lister’s towels, otherwise said to be the first commercially available disposable sanitary protection products for women in the United States, soon came onto the market. They didn’t last very long as the topic of a menstruation was still very taboo, and women weren’t yet ready to socialize the idea of purchasing sanitary products openly. I’d say the women of those times really missed out, there’s no way I’d pass up a 24 pads for $1.00!
Kotex discovered the use of cellulose in a sanitary napkin. This is the same cotton/acrylic blend material that was used on bandages during world war I. Using the slogan, “They were presented as, ‘If it’s good enough for our soldiers, it’s good enough for us’” Kotex began marketing their sanitary products in way that made them become very popular.
A patent for the first sanitary belt came about. These belts brought the added protection of something that wouldn’t slip or move around.
Leona Chalmers patents the very first period cup. These things were a bloody hit, but only for a moment, as they were effective, but too messy for most ladies taste. I’m not sure about you, but I think I would have had to pass on this!
A smart man of the name Earle Hass created the great invention of a tampon with an applicator. The applicator served to make the insertion of the tampon much easier, as women who wore tampon’s used to have to insert them with their hands or by a physician. Earle attempted to sell his product to several mainstream health/beauty companies, but they had no faith in it. Therefore he sold the rights over to a woman named Gertrude Tendrich, who later founded the brand and company Tampax. 1933 Tampax found an interesting way to advertise their new line of tampon products. It was was marketed toward married women. The tampon was looked at as a device capable of taking away a woman’s virginity.
Ladies began to ditch their menstrual belts, because Stayfree entered the first disposable pad with an adhesive strip into the market. No longer did women have to wear those belt contraptions to keep their pads in place!
Several companies began to introduce their version of the maxi pad.
This is around the time Rely branded tampons became the new biggest thing. Their technology introduced a polyester coated applicator and a tampon that contained carboxymethyl cellulose, a thickening agent, so the tampons were super-absorbent. This was later found to be very hazardous to women as the tampon was housing and encouraging the growth of bacteria, which was very toxic.
The first FDA approved continuous birth control came onto the market, Lybrel. What made this birth control so different is that it prevented periods. The company even marketed using the slogan “Why bother having a period if you don’t need to!”
There are so many options as far as feminine products and birth control are concerned now. You can use sea sponges, pads, tampons, cups, and use pills, implants, shots, and uterine devices, etc. to control your periods and even pregnancy. The magnitude of options is great, and there is a fitting one for every women’s lifestyle and preference out there. Enjoy technology, and next time you are feeling crappy because your aunt flo is in town, remember the ladies from the 1850′s wore a rubber butt apron..HA!
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