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2007/123/1 Sanitary belt, satin / elastic / metal, made by Kotex, Australia, 1940-1960. Click to enlarge.

Sanitary belt by Kotex

Made by Kotex Australia Limited in Australia, Oceania, 1940-1960.

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 belt, satin / elastic / metal, made by Kotex, Australia, 1940-1960

Physical Description

Sanitary belt made of flesh coloured elastic. On either side it has a metal loop, fastener, buckle, and slide so that the waist size can be adjusted. At the front and the back there is a cream-coloured satin tab with a toothed metal clasp for attaching a sanitary towel.


Stamped on metal tabs 'KOTEX' on one side and 'U.S. PAT. 1987437'.



70 mm



The sanitary belt was made by Kotex in Australia, probably between 1940 and 1960.



This sanitary belt belonged to the donor's mother. The donor recalls her mother sending her to the corner shop to buy Modess. Her mother would give her a note for the shopkeeper, who would wrap the pads in newspaper (the donor recalls everything being wrapped in newspaper and the shopkeeper telling her 'You don't want your neighbours to know what you buy').


Credit Line

Gift of Beth Gabriel, 2007

Acquisition Date

14 September 2007

Cite this Object


Sanitary belt by Kotex 2019, Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, accessed 11 December 2019, <>


{{cite web |url= |title=Sanitary belt by Kotex |author=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences |access-date=11 December 2019 |publisher=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, Australia}}

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