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Sanitary Napkins for Ladies, 1897

Image courtesy: Johnson & Johnson Archives

Johnson & Johnson pioneered mass-produced sanitary napkins, providing a much-needed alternative to the homemade methods that women had relied on for most of history. These pads were likely the first commercially produced, disposable sanitary products sold in the U.S. The earliest versions were called “Sanitary Napkins for Ladies” or “Lister’s Towels,” a nod to Dr. Joseph Lister, who developed sterile surgery and inspired the founding of Johnson & Johnson.