The Origin of KOTEX

During World War One (1914-1918) soldiers were getting wounded in such large numbers that people were running out of bandages. To fill the gap, Kimberly/ Clark developed a bandage that was made of cellulose instead of cotton. These paper bandages were cheaper to make. Soon after arriving on the battlefield, the nurses(and nuns) tending the wounded started using them for their “Lady Days”. Back then, when Aunt Flo visited the choices available were rags (hence the phrase “On the Rag”.) and going commando (eww). These new bandages worked really well and the girls tossed them when full. What could be easier?

After the war Kimberly/Clark had warehouses full of these bandages. They marketed them to women as feminine hygiene pads. The word KOTEX was coined from [K]Otton-like TEXture. The odd sounding word was designed to keep counter clerks from giggling. Sales did not go well until a counter display was designed so that women could buy KOTEX without talking to the clerk.

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