The first forms of tampons are thought to have been made thousands of years ago by the ancient Egyptians and Greeks. They were made from all sorts of natural material, like wool, paper, vegetable fibers, sponges and even grass.
As a medical device, the tampon has been around since the 19th century, when antiseptic cotton tampons treated with salicylates were used to stop the bleeding from bullet wounds, and there have been reports of modern menstrual tampons being used for the same purpose by soldiers in the Iraq War.
The average American woman will use more than 10,000 tampons in her lifetime. While about 70% of women in the U.S., Canada and most of western Europe use tampons, only 2% of women in Mexico do, and only 4% in Italy.
Tampax sold the first tampon with an applicator in 1936, developed from the patent of Dr. Earle C. Haas of Denver, Colorado.
The first advertisements for tampons appeared in the late 1920s or early 1930s in the United States. The image shown here is an in-store display from this era.
Source: Lovelyish.com and Museum of Menstration & Women’s Health