History of Modess Sanitary Napkins

by Thomma Grindstaff

Disposable sanitary napkins began commercial production in the U.S. in 1896. Modess Sanitary Napkins got its start in 1926 with Johnson & Johnson.

Early Years

Since Modess had to compete with Kotex, another early brand of feminine hygiene product, Johnson & Johnson commissioned a survey to find out how women would design pads and belts. The report, published in 1927, not only helped Modess thrive but revolutionized the manufacture of feminine hygiene products.

Middle Years

Modess distinguished itself with its advertising. From 1948 to 1970, its slogan was “Modess... Because.” The slogan capitalized on people's reluctance to discuss menstruation or feminine hygiene products while tying those feelings into the name Modess, which suggests modesty. Used in the ads were pictures of elegantly-dressed women in graceful, timeless settings.

Later Years

Modess sanitary napkins sold so well that Johnson & Johnson created the Modess Division which later became Personal Products Company. In 1970, Johnson & Johnson revolutionized feminine hygiene products again: Personal Products Company developed Stayfree, the first pads which used, instead of belts, adhesive that attached to underwear.

Photo Credits

About the Author

Thomma Grindstaff has been writing full time since 2006. Her first novel, "Mirror Blue," was published in 2009 by Black Lyon Publishing. Grindstaff holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from East Tennessee State University.