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2005/219/1 Menstrual cup, 'Tassaway', in individual packaging, plastic, made by Tassaway Inc, Beverly Hills, California, United States of America, 1970-1972. Click to enlarge.

‘Tassaway’ menstrual cup

Made
The Tassaway disposable cup was a menstrual product introduced to the USA market in 1970, but despite the claims of its manufacturer that it was 'the first menstrual product that doesn't absorb anything', it was based on an idea that was not new. Different kinds of menstrual cup have been manufactured since at least the 1930s, but generally have not been a marketing success.

An alternative to pads and tampons, menstrual cups collect menstrual fluids rather than absorb them. They are inserted into the vagina and fit over the cervix. The manufacturer's main claims for Tassette cups were that they were comfortable and invisible, there was no leakage or odour, and they only needed to be changed twice in 24 hours. Advertisements admitted that 'the whole idea might seem a little strange to you' but offered money back if women tried them and didn't find them better than what they were already using.

It was not long before Tassaway company ran into financial problems and it appears to have ceased operating in 1972. Since then, other brands of menstrual cup have appeared on the market from time to time.

Reference:
Museum of Menstruation
www.mum.org

Megan Hicks
Curator 2005

Summary

Object No.

2005/219/1

Object Statement

Menstrual cup, 'Tassaway', in individual packaging, plastic, made by Tassaway Inc, Beverly Hills, California, United States of America, 1970-1972

Physical Description

The 'Tassaway' cup is a device for collecting menstrual fluid, used as an alternative to products that absorb, such as sanitary napkins or tampons. It is made of soft flesh-coloured plastic in the shape of a cup that is worn inside the vagina and fits over the cervix. The base of the cup is extended into a little loop by which the device can be grasped and withdrawn.

Tassaway was marketed in a box of individually wrapped cups. The example in the Powerhouse collection is in its individual yellow plastic sachet, but there is no box.

Marks

No marks

Dimensions

Height

117 mm

Width

60 mm

Depth

40 mm

Production

Notes

Tassaway advertisements reproduced on the Museum of Menstruation website (www.mum.org) indicate that the manufacturer was Tassaway Inc, 155 South Robertson Bvd, Beverly Hills, California, USA 90211. According to the Museum of Menstruation, Tassaway cups were first marketed in 1970 but the company ceased production in 1972.

History

Notes

This example of the individually wrapped Tassaway cup was donated to the Powerhouse Museum when curator of health and medicine, Megan Hicks, visited the private Museum of Menstruation in Washington DC and met with the museum's owner/curator, Mr Finley in 2000.

Source

Credit Line

Gift of Mr Harry Finley, Museum of Menstruation, USA, 2005

Acquisition Date

25 October 2005

Cite this Object

Harvard

'Tassaway' menstrual cup 2020, Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, accessed 16 January 2021, <https://ma.as/354459>

Wikipedia

{{cite web |url=https://ma.as/354459 |title='Tassaway' menstrual cup |author=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences |access-date=16 January 2021 |publisher=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, Australia}}