Dec 022013

Ever wondered what women did before tampons? I have but then I’m not the only one so it’s ok .

Before their modern counterparts (which two of my friends charmingly refer to as ‘fairy hammocks’ and ‘diapers for women’) things were quite different, in early years women even had to wear a special lady belt under their girdle to keep themselves in check. Here are two very fine examples of vintage sanitary products used by ladies in bygone times. First a “Perfect” Towel by British brand Hosezene circa 1930s. Marketed as ‘A boon to ladies when travelling’. I’m sure it certainly was that.

Hosezens 1930s "Perfect" Compresses Towel

…and here’s a slightly later Santowel circa 1950s by “Southalls” of Birmingham for use in an automatic machine (I can only assume this means either a vending or washing machine).

Southalls 1950s Compressed Santowel

What lovely packaging for just a functional product. There’s some rather good further reading on the subject by the Powerhouse Museum of Australia here.

You might be wondering why one would buy these from a shop like ours when we all have access these days to mod cons. Well think laterally. I saw a wonderful alternative use for them when I visited the Blackbird Tea Room where they had transformed their outdoors WC into a 1940s ‘powder room’ with a lovely display of old furnishings, products and packaging.

Vintage WC at Blackbird Tea rooms

Whilst researching this post I happened upon a related modern trend I was previously unaware of. It seems the makers and vintage inspired folks of have taken to producing eco-friendly and pretty handmade reusable sanitary towels. Really not something I’d considered was already on the market but here they are.

Personally I’m all in it for the packaging, what are your thoughts?