Item #17683 Feminine Hygiene. The Marvel Way. Marvel Company.
Feminine Hygiene. The Marvel Way.
Feminine Hygiene. The Marvel Way.
Feminine Hygiene. The Marvel Way.

Feminine Hygiene. The Marvel Way.

[ New Haven: The Marvel Company, n.d., ca. 1920s.]. First edition. The Marvel Whirling Spray device was patented in 1899. Though a booklet was issued in 1900 (and reprinted in 1901 and 1902) to advertise the device, the text and illustrations are wholly different in the present booklet. OCLC records no copies of the present booklet and does not seem to record any other Marvel Company marketing material published between 1902 and the publication of this edition. With six illustrations, two of the “Marvel Whirling Spray” vaginal douche. Some dustsoiling to wrappers, otherwise clean throughout. A very good copy. Publisher’s color-printed paper self-wrappers. 3 x 5 ." 16 pp. Item #17683

The present booklet advertises the Marvel Whirling Spray vaginal douche for “relief at menstrual periods,” for the treatment of infection and disease (using medicated liquid), and even “in infancy and childhood.” 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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