Tampax is a combination of the words tampon and packs.
In 1929, Dr. Earle Cleveland Haas, a physician living in Denver, Colorado, invented the first patented disposable tampon, which he named Tampax. Haas developed a way to compress strips of cotton into a cylindrical shape, attached a string to one end of the tampon for easy removal, and invented the telescoping applicator (made from two cardboard tubes).
Haas received a trademark for the name brand Tampax on June 14, 1932, and he received a patent for his “catamenial device” ( two-tube menstrual tampon) on September 12, 1933. A month later, Haas sold his patent and trademark to a group of investors headed by German immigrant and Denver businesswoman Gertrude Tenderich, who founded the Tampax Sales Corporation.
Gertrude Tenderich made the first Tampax Tampons at home, using a sewing machine and Dr. EArly Cleveland Haas’s compressor.
In 1936, Gertrude Tenderich, lacking sufficient funds to promote the tampons, sold the Tampax Sales Corporation to Ellery Mann, who founded Tampax Inc. In 1984, the company changed its name to Tambrands Inc. Procter & Gamble acquired Tambrands in 1997.
The instruction sheet found inside a box of Tampax Tampons states (in small type): “Remove used tampon before inserting a new one.” That’s not something you want to find out after going through an entire box.
The menstrual cycle lasts an average of 28 days, but can range anywhere from 21 to 40 days.
Company president Ellery Mann marketed Tampax tampons to physicians, the drug trade, and consumers by advertising in Drug Store Retailing, the AMA Journal (offering to send interested physicians a free package of tampons and a folder detailing their use), and in New York City newspapers and national magazines.
In 1937, female Tampax consultants in department stores in Chicago and other cities explained the benefits of tampons to customers, answered questions, and gave lectures on sanitary protection to the store’s female employees. Tampax Incorporated hired and trained Tampax ladies (women with professional medical backgrounds) to speak at colleges, schools, trade shows, and conventions to dispel myths and misconceptions about menstruation and sanitary protection.
In the August 1939 issue of Clinical Medicine and Surgery, Brooklyn physician Harry S. Sackren, concluded from his research that Tampax Tampons offered complete protection to 90 percent of the women observed and, in 94 percent of the menstrual periods studied, showed no tendency to block the flow, produced no observable changes in the vaginal or cervical tissues (no irritation), caused no infections, and were easy and comfortable to use, and caused no odor.
During World War II, when millions of women went to work in factories (taking over jobs like welding, operating cranes, and running machines), posters advertising Tampax tampons in drugstores portrayed a woman in military uniform with the slogan, “No time for time-out.”
In the Rolling Stones’ hit single “Satisfaction,” Mick Jagger laments about trying to make love to a girl who tells him to come back the following week because she’s on a “losing streak.”
When females live or work together in close proximity, their menstrual cycles begin to coincide, apparently triggered by the scent of each other’s pheromones. The menstrual periods of women exposed to the scent of male pheromones seem to become shorter and more predictable.
Euphemisms for menstruation include such ridiculous expressions as “the curse,” “falling off the roof,” “the monthly visitor,” “the time of the month,” “Aunt Flo,” “on the rag,” “carrying a flag,” “female troubles,” “having the painters in,” “communists in the summer house,” “wearing red shoes,” “surfing the crimson wave,” “taking Carrie to the prom,” and “riding the cotton pony.”