History Of Menstrual Cups
Menstrual cups have actually been around since the early 1900’s. And there are rumors that the first models may have come even earlier… For example, a man from Chicago patented a sack-like menstrual cup in 1867, which was held in place up near the cervix by an attached wire, which in turn came outside the body and attached to a belt to be worn around the woman’s waist. Diagrams of this model can be seen at this link, but I’ve also provided a linked immage:
But some of the pioneers that helped to bring us toward the modern version of the menstrual cup are:
* Leona Chalmers
* Robert P. Oreck (Attemtped to market Leona’s cup later on)
* Foldene Inc.
* Tassette Inc.
* The Dainty Maid Inc.
The most well-known of the early and mid 1900’s models are listed below. There is also a link where you can view photos of these brands at the “Museum of Menstruation” website:
Tassette– Pinkish in color, shaped very much like a modern mooncup.
Tassaway — Also pinkish, had a ring stem, and several seal rings around the top.
Daintette– Green, VERY bell shaped, small cord-like stem.
Foldene– Pretty much the same as Daintette, only brownish-tan in color.
This link has a photo showing all the early models listed above, as well as today‘s Keeper and Instead cups. It also contains links to LOTS of amazing and educatinal details about the history of menstrual cups:
Here are some linked photos of older menstrual cups:
Sadly, the manufacturers of the early brands did not stay in business long, because they were working in a time when most women were still appalled by the idea of being “hands-on involved” with their periods, or using internal products. Also because there were a lot of advertising restrictions– many magazines, billboards and news papers had strict censoring rules, that would not allow the printing of words necessary to describe what the products were and how they worked back then. Such things could not be talked about on the radio, or on television in the mid-1900’s either. So marketing methods were extremely limited.
That combined with the fact that safer materials were not available back then like they are today, and there was little or no repeat business due to the lengthy lifespan of the cups, and the small number of customers. This led to the ultimate downfall of the companies.
But today, we have much better marketing resources and tools. We have safer material to work with (medical silicone and TPE). Today’s women are also more knowledgeable about their bodies, and more comfortable with them as well. So we are now in a much better marketing time for these products.