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The History of Tampons

The ancient Egyptians invented the first disposable tampons made from softened papyrus. The ancient Greeks invented tampons made from lint wrapped around a small piece of wood, recorded in writing by Hippocrates in the fifth century B.C. Other materials used for the first tampons have included: wool, paper, vegetable fibers, sponges, grass, and later cotton.

tampon patentIn 1929, the modern tampon (with applicator) was first invented and patented by Doctor Earle Haas who wanted to invent a tampon that could be effectively mass produced. Earle Haas filed for his first tampon patent on November 19, 1931. His patent description was for a "catamenial device," derived from the Greek word for monthly. He later trademarked Tampax as the brandname for his tampon product.

Gertrude Tendrich founded the Tampax company for the mass production of tampons after buying the patent and trademark rights from Earle Haas.

Tampax Tampon Patent (Dr. Earle Haas) #1,926,900
Tampax enjoys its fame from having sold the first tampon with an applicator (1936), patented by Dr. Earle Haas of Denver, Colorado.

Early Commercial American Menstrual Tampons
Brief histories with photos.

Tampons
A good ' history of ' for tampons from the Tampax company.

Are Tampons Safe?
"Welcome this new day for womanhood,'' Tampax Inc. announced on July 26, 1936, in its very first mass-market ad.

The Tampon Debate
Do dioxin, chlorine bleaching, rayon, and the risk of toxic shock syndrome (TSS) pose a serious health risk for tampon users? Discover the facts about tampons.

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©Mary Bellis

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