History Of Menstrual Cups

NEWS:  I now sell menstrual cups at my new store:

www.zanashop.com

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:

http://www.mum.org/1867Patent.htm

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:

http://www.mum.org/MenCups.htm

Here are some linked photos of older menstrual cups:

Daintette:

Foldene:

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.

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4 Comments

  1. stuff to start with « Cycle Two Moons said,

  2. Munia said,

    I am considering myself very lucky for born in this modern era otherwise i had to use those nasty and uncomfortable pads. Errrrr…..

  3. Labake said,

    I love this:D

  4. Kathi Bourg said,

    At 49, I have just recently started using reusable cloth pads ( made myself) as disposables were getting more & more uncomfortable. In the search for more info on reusable pads, I came across info on menstual cups. I’ve always hated tampons because I could feel them & had leakage and just used pads. My cycle is very irregular now (every 2-3 months), but when I do have one, it lasts much longer & is alot heavier. After trying the Instead disposable cups this time (not really crazy about them, still having leakage issues) I did order a Diva Cup with high hopes. I happened to mention it to my mom (who is 79) and she told me that she had worked with a woman in the late 1950’s who had discovered menstrual cups on a trip to Europe and swore by it back then… I was surprised! I don’t know how long I will need these things, but I might as well be comfortable for the rest of this part of my life! I don’t have daughters, but I do have nieces to teach! Thanks for all the great information

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