Three women looking disgusted by old birth control kit Callaly

Would you use a vibrator, razor or tampon that was designed 90 years ago?

2 min read

Our Unboxing 1930s Women’s Products video has raised a lot of interesting questions, not least: would you trust a vibrator or razor that was designed nearly a century ago? Thankfully, both those products have come a long way since 1930. It’s just a shame the same thing couldn’t be said for tampon design… at least not until the tampliner was invented, anyway.

If the video has left you wanting to know more about the mystery products in the boxes, here’s a rundown of everything you saw in the video and how it was used.

Two women holding antique hair tongs looking confused

Hair tongs

These alarming-looking beasts were held over an open flame and then applied directly to the hair. As you can see from Celestina’s attempts in the film, they were far from foolproof.

Two women launching at an old condom Callaly

Condoms 

Originally, these condoms would obviously have had a sheath section, but the ones Abby got her hands on in our video had completely perished. We think this says something about the amount of time that’s passed since tampons had a redesign!

Vibrator

Until the 1920s, vibrators were advertised in women’s magazines as “home health devices” that would apparently give you rosy cheeks and a relaxed attitude (we’re not necessarily arguing with that part…) Vibrators were still disguised right up until the ‘60s, often being referred to as “body massagers” – again, not strictly untrue!

Douche

This alarming-looking piece of kit was once used as a birth control method. You won’t be surprised to know that it has one of the highest failure rates of any contraception. Women would sometimes add Lysol disinfectant to the douche, in an attempt to give it greater sperm-killing power. 

Razor

This alarming-looking gadget, which looks more like a plastering tool than an instrument of #self-care, came with separate blades that had to be inserted into the razor by hand. Steady now! Side note: it hadn’t even occurred to most women to shave off their armpit hair until razor companies decided to turn it into a money-making campaign. Underarm hair removal was presented as a sign of wealth, and thus it became a class issue. Mind-boggling. The tide is now slowly turning, but decades of brainwashing takes a long time to undo.

🏆 Tampon 🏆

The grand finale of our video: the tampon. Variations of tampons (some involving moss) date back to Egyptian times, but the first modern tampon was patented in 1931. It looked almost exactly like the one we show in our video, which looks exactly like… most tampons today! If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, you may say. We agree, but we also know that 7 out of 10 tampon users double up with a liner because they’re worried about leaking. That’s why we decided it was finally time to fix the problem, by giving the tampon a much-needed redesign. The result is our tampliner, which combines an organic cotton tampon. with a soft mini-liner for extra protection. 

Still got questions? Drop us a line on Instagram and we’ll try our best to answer them!

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