Item #17681 The Correct Practice of Feminine Hygiene. [Cover title.]. Marvel Company.
The Correct Practice of Feminine Hygiene. [Cover title.]
The Correct Practice of Feminine Hygiene. [Cover title.]
The Correct Practice of Feminine Hygiene. [Cover title.]

The Correct Practice of Feminine Hygiene. [Cover title.]

[ [New Haven: The Marvel Company, 1931 [. First edition. All Marvel Company marketing material is rare: OCLC records only one copy of this item (Duke) and only a few copies of a 1900 Marvel Company booklet and its reprints (1901 and 1902). Though there was another Marvel Whirling Spray promotional booklet published in the 1920s, there are no copies of the item recorded on OCLC. With eight illustrations (one full-page) of the Marvel Whirling Spray and Marvel Whirling Fountain vaginal douche devices. Light dampstaining to front cover. Otherwise, clean and fresh throughout. A good copy of a rare item. Publisher’s printed paper self-wrappers. 3 x 6 in. 16 pp. Item #17681

The present booklet advertises the Marvel Whirling Spray and the Marvel Whirling Fountain, as well as suppositories and a medicated powder. The Marvel Whirling Spray device was patented in 1899, but the Marvel Whirling Fountain appears to be a newly released product. The Marvel Company advertised their products for “relief at menstrual periods” and for the treatment of infection and disease (using medicated liquid). Though using the Marvel device as a method of birth control is not mentioned explicitly in this booklet, vaginal douching after sex was a common form of contraception in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, and it was likely intended, in part, for that purpose. Though the language is necessarily vague, the present booklet emphasizes the importance of the use of the Marvel Whirling Spray after marriage, implying that married women could use it to prevent pregnancy. An earlier Marvel Company booklet also advertises the device’s effectiveness against “secretions,” a euphemism for semen. With the passage of the Comstock laws in 1873 banning the distribution via mail of birth control and information on the topic, manufacturers of contraceptives had to rely on innuendo, implication, and word-of-mouth advertising among women to avoid prosecution and censorship.

Li, Melody. “The Whirling Spray – A Secret Contraceptive Device.” The Old Operating Theatre Museum (webpage), October 3, 2021. Marvel Syringe Whirling Spray for Women. Chicago, Illinois: The Marvel Company (1901). PDF accessed on the Museum für Verhütung und Schwangerschaftsabbruch (Museum of Contraception and Abortion, Vienna, Austria) website.

Price: $100.00

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