How 8 Female Products Have Changed Over Time
The way we see many products now is a result of the evolution of hundreds and even thousands of years. Disposable menstrual pads didn’t appear just yesterday — their initial design wasn’t as comfortable and tiny.
We at Bright Side grew curious about how some female-geared products looked back in the day and are sharing 8 stories that may be of interest to you.
1. Disposable menstrual pads
The first disposable pads were generally produced as a cotton wool rectangle covered with an absorbent liner. The ends were extended in the front and back so as to fit through loops in a special girdle or belt worn beneath undergarments. The pads were not very convenient because of slipping forward or backward.
The prototype of modern bras was discovered by researchers in an Austrian castle and is approximately 600 years old. The evolution of the bra is a long process; you can find many vintage illustrations of how women supported their breasts. For example, one of these pictures illustrates a ribbon of fabric wrapped around the chest and buttoned.
Later on, when corsets became unfashionable, New Yorker Marie Tucek invented a “breast supporter,” which was a modification of the corset. It was made of a metal plate and cardboard, shaped to fit against the torso under the breasts. The base was covered with silk or another type of cloth and extended above the plate to form a pocket for each breast curved around the torso, ending near the armpits.
The first lipstick was possibly made about 5,000 years ago by ancient Sumerian and Indus Valley men and women. They crushed gemstones and used them to decorate the lips and areas around the eyes. Egyptians, like Cleopatra, for example, crushed bugs to add red to their lips.
The first mascara can be documented in Ancient Egypt. It was a substance called kohl that was used to darken eyelashes, eyelids, and eyebrows to ward off evil spirits by both men and women.
The substance was made of galena, malachite, charcoal or soot, and saliva.
5. Hair rollers
The hair curling method was being used as far back as 1575 BCE. Ancient Egyptians would use bronze curling tongs that would have been heated up on a fire before pieces of hair were curled around them. Electrically heated hair rollers were invented by Solomon Harper in 1930, but only during the 1960s did this styling tool become popular.
The first evidence of the use of a corset was found in the Minoan civilization of early Crete. Since then, this item has undergone many changes — at one time, men used them to slim down their figures.
7. Heeled shoes
Platformed footwear dates as far back as Ancient Egypt. At first, they were in the form of very thick-soled sandals used to indicate upper-class status. Additionally, the Persian cavalry wore high-heeled shoes. It was a kind of boot that had heels to ensure the feet stayed in the stirrups, giving the rider more security.
Historically, stockings — or hose, as they were called — were used by men in the twelfth century. Before the sixteenth century, stockings were made of woven or sewn cloth.
Which item’s history surprised you the most? Which of these products are the most useful to you?