Famous health inventions, Toilet paper. Toothpaste. Tampons. People around the world use them every day. But do we know where they came from? Let’s take a look back at the history of the products important to our daily lives.Tampons
Early versions: Ancient civilizations created tampons using materials such as vegetable fibers, grass, sponges, and even wood wrapped in lint.
Modern-day version: Dr. Earle Haas is credited with inventing the tampon with applicator that women use today. He was awarded a patent in 1931 and later sold it to the founder of Tampax.
Early versions: Some of the first recipes were made of animal bones. A Persian musician invented a type in the 9th century, and tooth powders became popular in this country in the 1800s.
Modern-day version: It was first put in tubes by this dentist in 1892 and copied by a rival company a few years later.
Early versions: A famous inventor is credited with the idea of lenses in this work, but a German ophthalmologist successfully fitted the first contact lens in 1887.
Modern-day version: The FDA approved the first soft contact lenses in 1971. Today, lenses come in several colors.
Early versions: A dentist from a southern US city first told his patients to use this material in 1815, and a famous corporation got the first dental floss patent in 1898.
Modern-day version: A researcher known as the “Father of Preventive Dentistry” developed nylon floss in the 1940s. It’s sold in several different apparatuses but few Americans are regular flossers.
Early versions: The first version approved by the FDA in 1961 – was developed with the help of a famous women’s health activist.
Modern-day version: Today’s contraceptives are “low-dose” pills and are considered very effective
Early versions: An American immigrant invented the first swabs in 1923 by attaching cotton to toothpicks.
Modern-day version: Most people refer to today’s paper-handled swabs by this trademark name. Which popular use for them do doctors recommend against?
Early versions: An ancient Greek physician reportedly used an early version of it, and scientists at this company first produced the synthetic form in 1897.
Modern-day version: The use of aspirin has been linked to heart attack survival rates.
Early versions: People used everything from corncobs to rocks to sponges on sticks before the first toilet paper unrolled in this country in the 6th century.
Modern-day version: An American inventor marketed the first commercial toilet paper in 1857. What was it called? Now, consumers have their choice of shopping for recycled or novelty paper – or even tissue with a touch of lotion.
Early versions: The first safety razors date back to the mid-1800s and an inventor with a familiar name patented the first disposable double-edge blade in 1904.
Gillette supplied American troops.
Modern-day version: Most blades are made from this material, and razors come in disposable, six-blade versions that you can buy for either men or women.
Early versions: Condoms are depicted in famous cave paintings in France dating back 12,000 to 15,000 years. They became extremely popular by the 16th century after this disease ravaged Europe and Asia.
Modern-day version: The AIDS scare of the 1980s resulted in skyrocketing condom use. Today’s “rubbers” are mostly made out this material.
Early versions: The musician credited with this invention also invented under-arm deodorants in the 19th century. The first commercial deodorant was patented in 1888.
Modern-day version: Aerosol deodorants became popular in the 1960s, but due to environmental issues, stick deodorants including all-natural alternatives – are the biggest sellers today.
Early versions: A physician from this city invented the ChapStick in the 1880s and sold the recipe in 1912. Another popular brand was invented in a family kitchen in the 1930s.
Modern-day version: Lip-balm users now have several flavors to choose from, including bacon and Cheetos.
Early versions: The precursor to today’s sanitizers was invented in the 1940s by a married couple in this midwestern city.
Modern-day version: Purell was introduced in the 1990s, and other brands soon followed
Early versions: An employee of this health-product giant invented the first adhesive bandage out of gauze, tape and crinoline in 1920.
Modern-day version: That first bandage – which is now made of this product – has many competitors
Early versions: Oil-rig workers in a northeastern city first used a type of this soothing ointment in the 1850s before the formula was perfected by a scientist who received a patent for it in 1872.
Modern-day version: It is still used for everything from loosening cat hair balls to preventing runner’s nipple.
Early versions: The founder of a famous cosmetic company is one of several men credited with creating the first sunscreens in the 1930s. What was the unusual name of one of them?
Modern-day version: The SPF measurement system was invented in 1962, and most sunscreens protect users against these harmful rays.
Early versions: A Scottish Army wife invented the first disposable “nappy” in 1947.
Modern-day version: Today’s diapers incorporate waterproof material, gussets and wetness indicators.
Early versions: The people of this country have been making facial tissue for centuries.
Modern-day version: Kleenex was invented in 1924 as a way to remove makeup. Now it comes with added ingredients, including menthol and aloe.
Liquid hand soap
Early versions: A New York City inventor patented the first liquid soap in 1865 using these ingredients.
Modern-day version: Softsoap in a pump bottle was introduced in 1980, and liquid soaps now come in several colors and scents
Early versions: Mouthwash use dates back to 2,700 B.C. and a notable Greek physician even recommended the practice.
Modern-day version: Since the introduction of Listerine in 1879, a plethora of flavors have crowded the market