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2007/141/6 Sanitary napkin, handmade, cotton, maker unknown, Australia, probably 1950-1970. Click to enlarge.

Sanitary napkin

Made in Australia, Oceania, 1950-1970.

Menstruation has been a private and, until the recent advent of explicit television commercials, almost unmentionable subject. It is therefore not surprising that the artefacts of menstruation are not well represented in Australian museum collections, even though they are an intrinsic part of women’s lives. When cupboards are cleared out or when the effects of elderly relatives are being sorted through, personal items like these are usually amongst the first things to be thrown away.

Before man...


Object No.


Object Statement

Sanitary napkin, handmade, cotton, maker unknown, Australia, probably 1950-1970

Physical Description

This sanitary napkin appears to be homemade. It is a cotton rectangle with long strings attached to each corner. It was made to have a sanitary pad attached and the whole thing to be attached to a belt.


No marks



135 mm



Maker of the sanitary napkin unknown. Probably made between 1950 and 1970.


Australia, Oceania 1950-1970


Credit Line

Gift of Mrs Judy Keena, 2007

Acquisition Date

4 October 2007

Cite this Object


Sanitary napkin 2019, Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, accessed 15 October 2019, <>


{{cite web |url= |title=Sanitary napkin |author=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences |access-date=15 October 2019 |publisher=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, Australia}}

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