"Let me see generation times, will we hear children singing rhymes? Sweet memories gone by..."

10 September 2013

The Family Inventor

My heart is low, my heart is so low
As only a woman's heart can be
As only a woman's, as only a woman's
As only a woman's heart can know
--"Only A Woman's Heart" by Eleanor McEvoy

So, this is one of my more random finds while googling ancestors' names.

Below is a patent granted 146 years ago today to John Aaron Belvin, Jr., a cousin of my 3rd-great-grandmother Lucy Atkinson Fleet.  John invented a "new and useful apparatus for the use of females during menstruation and weakness of the womb" which he called a "catamenial guard and supporter".


A few choice excerpts:
"The nature of my invention consists in providing a guard for the use of females during menstruation, and at the same time a support for the womb in its weakened state during that period."
"The part A forms properly the womb-supporter, and acts on the lower part of the abdomen, the elastic straps producing a gentle pressure, sufficient to hold up the womb in its natural position without incommoding the female."

"It will be noticed that the whole weight of the truss bears upon the hips, thereby relieving, in a considerable degree, the female of the pain experienced by her during the critical period."

"The parts are constructed "of boiled-oil silk, a light, soft, and impervious material, and which does not chafe or irritate the skin of the wearer."
Why the term "catamenial guard and supporter" never caught on is beyond me.

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