Leona W. Chalmers


Leona W. Chalmers started her career singing and acting, but later devoted her time to inventing the first commercially available menstrual cup. It was her gruelling schedule as an actress that helped inspire the discreet and comfortable cup, which was so different to disposable menstrual towels of the era.

Late 1800s – Leona is born.

1937 – patented the first commercially available menstrual cup available in the United States. The cup was made from rubber and was held in place in the vagina. However, rubber was scarce during the Second World War, causing Leona to shut down production. The same year, she also published a book called ‘The intimate side of a woman’s life’.

Late 1950s – early 1970s – Chalmers partnered with a bigger menstrual product company to create the Tassette, a new version of the cup.

1973 – Tassette shut down as women found it uncomfortable and embarrassing to insert the cup so directly into their vaginas.