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Sanitary Napkins

A History of the Sanitary Napkin

By Giles Slade, Ph.D.

Sanitary napkins have an important place in women's history and in the history of technology. 19th Century research into disposable sanitary napkins marked the humble beginnings of a new era of gynecological sanity. Disposable Sanitary Napkins appeared in Germany as early as the 1880s but were unavailable to American women because of the Comstock Laws.

The invention of cellucotton in WWI however, lent itself to other applications including disposable bandages and, by extension, sanitary napkins. Not surprisingly, the first Kleenex products -- disposable mass market consumer items intended to replace more durable goods (in this case handkerchiefs) appeared (1920 - 1924) a few short years after the appearance of sanitary napkins during the Great War.

Guest article written by Giles Slade, Ph.D.

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