The History of Tampax
The modern design for tampons began in 1929 with Dr. Earle Cleveland Haas. Haas developed the elongated cotton design, cotton cord, and cardboard applicator tube in his home workshop. His design paved the way for others, and in March of 1936, Tampax Incorporated was born. Ellery Mann, the president of Tampax at its inception, knew the best way to get his company’s product out on the market was to target not only the consumer, but doctors and the pharmaceutical business as well. Magazine and journal ads helped to spread the word about how the product worked, but there were still unanswered questions.
Many doctors and female buyers were concerned about the safety and efficacy of the tampon. Until about 1939, there had yet to be any conclusive medical studies regarding this information. Then, Dr. Harry Sackren decided to observe 20 women over a period of three to five months, all using Tampax during their periods. Dr. Sackren was able to determine that tampons afforded over 90% protection without causing irritation or blockage. In 1941, Tampax not only had to contend with WWII and a materials crunch, but they had to move their production headquarters when a competitor bought the factory they had been using. The company was able to find an old textile mill in which to set up shop, but acquiring the cardboard for applicators proved to be more difficult.
Company executives had to head to Washington to prove that tampons were a legitimate medical device, and thus required cardboard. They were able to show that tampons used less cotton than traditional sanitary pads, thus freeing up resources for the war. For the next several decades, a number of competitors entered the market, touting such things as “applicator-free” and “superabsorbent modified cellulose”. In fact, it was this superabsorbent design that led to a class-action lawsuit in 1980, when a large number of women fell ill with Toxic Shock Syndrome. Although almost no cases stemmed from Tampax usage, the company still felt the ripple created by the newfound distrust in the tampon industry. In 1984, Tampax Incorporated became Tambrands Inc., and in 1997 was sold to Proctor & Gamble for nearly two billion dollars.
Most Popular Products
To this day, Tampax solely manufactures tampons, though the designs have changed somewhat since 1936. Today, plastic applicators are more popular, with 72% of Tampax products utilizing plastic instead of cardboard. Tampax’s signature product, its Pearl line, encompasses 16 of its 22 products. Tampax Pearl Regular features the same absorbency and materials as the original Tampax product, but uses a rounded-tip plastic applicator instead of the familiar cardboard tube. Tampax Compak Pearl uses the same designs as the Tampax Pearl, but is advertised as being small enough to fit anywhere.
How to Get Tampax Coupons, Discounts, and Promotional Specials
The best way to obtain a coupon or free sample for Tampax tampons is by visiting the website. Registration with the site is required, but is free. Proctor & Gamble also offers free samples of a number of products through its website, as well as a coupon booklet known as the P&G Brand Saver. In addition, Sunday Saver mailers will often include coupons for Tampax.