In the late 1950s, tampons were available to women but they were frowned upon. It was even considered “indecent” to wear them at the time. Cloths or different types of ranges were used but that method was unsanitary and inconvenient.
Enter Mary Kenner, an African American inventor from Monroe, North Carolina, who was inspired by her father to discover new things. In 1956, she invented the sanitary belt, which basically gave women a better alternative for dealing with their periods.
The sanitary belts also included moisture proof napkin pockets for comfort. It didn’t become a patent until 30 years after she had invented it. The company that was initially interested in the invention rejected her once they found out she was African American.
In 1982, Kenner obtained a patent for an improved version of the bathroom tissue holder. Her design kept the loose end of the tissue role away from the body. Mrs. Kenner‘s goal was never to make a lot of money, and her mission was to make peoples lives easier through her inventions.