Cardboard box (a) with hinged lid, held in place when open by a fabric string attaching the box to the lid; the lid and box are wrapped on the outside in yellow paper; on the top and front and side there is the product name printed in black inside a pink circle, with a black line stretching from th…
Cardboard box (a) with hinged lid, held in place when open by a fabric string attaching the box to the lid; the lid and box are wrapped on the outside in yellow paper; on the top and front and side there is the product name printed in black inside a pink circle, with a black line stretching from the bottom of the circle to the right edge of the box with white print inside the line; this same logo is on the left side of the box, and there is handwriting on the side of the lid above it, as well as manufacturing and quantity information printed in black on the same side; inside the box lid is also covered in yellow paper with the same logo on it, and above the logo is the Rexall logo in white on a black background, and to the right is an illustration of the product and its parts and how they fit together, along with instructions on how to store them; inside the box is a cardboard cut-out coloured gold which is the shape of the bulb; the bulb (b) fits inside this shape and is made of rubber, with black on the bottom and white on the top; it has a flat bottom and widens in the middle before becoming rounded at the top, with a protrusion at the very top which contains the hole into which the pipe (c) can be screwed on; the pipe has two sets of threading on the end and is made of rubber; the other end of the pipe is slightly bulbous and has a hole in the end; stored under the cardboard cutout in the box is a metal spoon (d) shaped like a ladle with a hooked end and the product name and patent information engraved on the handle; also in the box is a small piece of paper with blue print (e) detailing the directions for the use of the product.
Number Of Parts
a - box: Length 17.4 cm x Width 11.2 cm X Height 7.9 cm
b - bulb: Length 12.6 cm X Diameter 7.7 cm
c - pipe: Length 13.3 cm X Diameter 2.3 cm
d - spoon: Length 10.0 cm X Width 3.5 cm X Height 3.3 cm
Date based on when Rexall became Rexall Drug Company and when the St. Louis plant closed
ink: yellow, pink, white, black, blue, gold
rubber: black, tan
Printed on top of box: "Hy·da·way // SWIRL SPRAY DOUCHE // PAT. PENDING"; handwritten on edge of left side of lid: "KORN // 3 95"; printed on left side of box: "Hy·da·way // R 303 // 8 OZ. // SWIRL SPRAY DOUCHE // PAT. PENDING // REXALL DRUG COMPANY · DISTRIBUTO // LOS ANGELES · BOSTON · ST. LOUIS · TORONTO, CANADA"; printed on inside of box lid: "Rexall // The Hy-Da-Way Swirl Spray Douche is con- // venient for traveling (pipe can be concealed // inside bulb and sealed with cap) and per- // fect for home use. Before using, remove // pipe from inside bulb and fit into assembled // position shown above. // MADE IN U.S.A. // Hy·da·way // Sanitary leakproof cap // After using, clean, // drain, reverse pipe in // bulb as indicated; then // screw cap on tightly. // SWIRL SPRAY DOUCHE // PAT. PENDING"; embossed on spoon: "Cream Top. // PAT. // SEPT. 2ND 1924 // MAR. 3RD 1925"; printed on instructions sheet: "DIRECTIONS FOR USE // Compress bulb as much as possible and submerge in solution // to be used. Release the bulb slowly. Lift the douche out // of solution, holding it upright, and then press gently on the // bulb until liquid appears at tip of pipe. Then, without re- // leasing the pressure, submerge pipe again, then release // bulb slowly. This should fill the bulb completely. // CAUTION: The user is warned against the use of undue pressure // on the bulb which might result in spreading infection. // Moderate pressure of the solution is sufficient for cleans- // ing. Withdraw nozzle and fluid will flush out quickly. // Greater effectiveness may result if used when reclining. // SP 474 // PRINTED IN U. S. A.".
Storage Room 0010
Unit Of Measure
Box has a strong smell; rubber bulb hardened and discoloured; some bubbling in paper on box; paper instructions minorly crumpled around top left corner.
This object was used for vaginal douching, a historically common practice of women's hygiene until recently. Today, doctors do not recommend douching as the vagina is self-cleaning and attempting to clean it with soaps and chemicals could be harmful to its pH balance and cause damage.
Beginning in the early 20th century, women would often use Lysol, a household disinfectant, as a douche. Lysol advertised this purpose, claiming that it would guard against odors (believed to be a euphemism for birth control).
Before 1911, there were a reported 193 poisonings and five deaths from Lysol douching, and women often complained of burning and blisters. In 1952, Lysol's formula was changed from cresol to become a quarter as toxic as before. The Lysol used in homes today is not the same as the one historically used for douching, and is no longer owned by the same company.
Advertisements for Lysol as a feminine hygiene product often targeted women's insecurities about their bodies and caused them to feel badly about them and feel the need to use a douche to remain clean and fresh. Lines used in different 20th century Lysol advertisements include: "Often a wife fails to realize that doubts due to one intimate neglect shut her out from happy married love", "Day after heartbreaking day I was held in [...] a web spun by my husband's indifference. [...] Was the fault mine?", "No woman who has a normal foundation of good health can be forgiven for failing to "stay young with her husband.""
The douche was the most popular “contraceptive” in the USA by 1940. In 1933, nearly half of a study of 507 women who used Lysol as a contraceptive became pregnant.
This particular douche design was invented by George P. Kempel and was made to be able to be disposed after one use according to its patent.
Hy-da-way was trademarked by Rexall in 1959 in relation to their Folding Fountain Syringe; another douche-like product.
The Cream Top spoon found with this object was created by Herbert E. Hill for Cream-Top milk bottles, which were bottles with a bulbous top where the cream could rise to and remain; the spoon was created in order to block the opening of the bottle below the bulbous part and prevent milk from escaping when the cream was poured out. It may possibly be present in this douche kit to be used for measuring the cleansing solution.
The cap is missing from this object, but is illustrated inside the lid.