Oh bliss! We found a Montgomery Ward Spring and Summer 1930 catalog at a garage sale yesterday! It’s yellowed and smells a little mildewed, but all the pages are there. My husband spotted it first and handed it to me to look at and my blood pressure went up five points just seeing it. I did just exactly what I did with every Sears and Wards catalog that came in the mail when I was a girl - I turned to the index and looked at the very end of the “S” section, for “Syringe”. Bingo! There was the magic entry:
Syringes and attachments & Hot Water Bottles ….. 311
Baby …… ….. 46
De-worming Oil . 522
Dose, Stock . . 522
Fountain . 310,311
I held my breath as I turned to page 310 and 311, hoping they’d be there. They were! They were facing pages. I took one peek, saw a whole page full of enema syringes, closed the magazine and paid for it on the spot. $15.00. Probably a fair price since catalogs in perfect condition from these dates go for much more. We took it straight home and read it together on the kitchen table.
The hot section is 310/311, one half of the “Sickroom Supplies” section. Page 310 didn’t have too much in the way of enema equipment, just the enameled metal cans with tubing and two rectal and one vaginal pipes for $1.39. That page also had a selection of douche powders and laxatives.
The jackpot is on the facing page, 311. It’s about three quarters enema and douche equipment! And illustrated with those sexy line drawings, too. Reading from the top down, we have a two quart combination syringe with adult rectal and vaginal and infant rectal pipes for $1.39. (Unless stated otherwise, ALL of the fountain and combination syringes described below have two rectal and one vaginal syringe.) Below that, we have an inexpensive fountain syringe for $0.79 and a combination syringe for $1.00.
Better quality units go for $1.39 and $1.89 respectively. All two quart capacity.
On the right top of the page, they have the “Gold Bond Guaranteed for 5 Years” line of syringes. 2 quart fountain syringe: $1.89, 3 quart size for $2.49. The two and three quart combination syringes are $2.89 and $3.39 respectively.
In the middle of the page, we find the Wards version of the JBL syringe, the “Internal Bath Syringe 53 F 5027 Genuine Davol self-administering. High-grade red rubber. Easy to use - simply insert attachment and sit on bag. Valve shutoff stops flow at once when you arise. Holds 4 quarts. Also used as hot water bottle. WE PAY POSTAGE.” That’s a “$7.50 value” priced at $6.98 “Hygienic Powder” for the above syringe goes for $0.83 for 8 ounces. The drawing looks a lot like a JBL, with a round fitting in the center of the hot water bottle. Something that may be the shutoff valve is pointing towards the top of the bag. It’s also got two odd fittings pictured next to the bag. One looks like a cap, presumably so you could fill one in the bathroom and cap the enema nozzle off for transport to a bedroom without spillage. The other device looks like it might be some sort of hose adapter. I sure wish I could mail Wards my $6.98 and get one for examination!
There are more goodies on the rest of the page. The lower left corner has six bulb douche syringes, priced from $0.98 for “Dr. Davis Improved Balloon Spray - One of our biggest sellers! Bulb of good grade live red rubber. Polished hard rubber stem with soft rubber shield. Produces dilating spray. Capacity 8 ounces. WE PAY POSTAGE.” This can be had with a straight or curved stem.
The top of the line bulb douche is a surprising $4.95! That was a lot of bucks in 1930. It’s the “Clinical Style - The new syringe with pipe that throws a spray sideways as well as upward and outward. Bulb, cap and adjustable shield are made of heavy white rubber. Capacity ½ pint. Packed in beautiful, colored rubbersilk waterproof bag. Sample of Zonite included, also circular on Feminine Hygiene. An exceptionally high quality syringe that will give long service.”
Surprisingly, there are no modern bulb enema syringes on the page, although I know they were around in the ‘30s. There are two items labeled “bulb syringe”, but they’re quite different from what we have today. They’re the cute little devices that consist of a rubber squeeze bulb with a length of rubber hose coming out of each end. One hose has a weight on its end, and is intended to be placed in a bowl of water, and the other end has the customary three pipes to screw onto it, adult rectal and vaginal and infant rectal. The Davol unit has screw in pipes for $1.29 and the Omega unit has press in pipes for $0.89. The Omega’s douche pipe looks yummy with a nice bulging tip while the Davol douche pipe is gently curved.
Below that you can find “Syringe Attachments”. A 6 piece set consisting of five feet of 1/4 inch red rubber hose, a shutoff clamp, combination stopper and three hard rubber screw pipes goes for $.059 postpaid. You can also buy the tubing and shutoff along for $0.27 and the pipes alone for $0.39.
The same page also contains rubber gloves, atomizers, ice bags and ladies and men’s urinal bags, the kind with the little bag that straps to your leg. They also have something called a “Hard Rubber Syringe for Men - Soft rubber tip. 1/4 oz. capacity.” $0.32. I have a bad idea that that is used to inject things into the urethral opening of the penis and I don’t think I even want to think about it. My husband groaned when I told him what I thought it was for and put both hands over his crotch for protection from anybody who might try to inject into his urethra. Nobody tried.
And finally, we have the “alt.tastless” special, the “Nichols’ Nasal Syphon”. Picture a mini douche bag hanging from a wall. (This is all illustrated with a line drawing.) A hose leads from the douche bag to the nose of a gentleman standing upright in a business suit. A second hose hangs down from his other nostril to a shallow bowl placed on the floor. It’s a nose douche! “Relieves Head Colds - Hay Fever - Catarrh - Sinus Infection. Prescribed and used by physicians everywhere. Instantly relieves the annoyance of a head cold. Will keep the nasal cavities clean and help break up even chronic catarrh. Acts by suction, draining and cleansing nasal cavities. Four ounces of Syphon powder and directions for use included. We pay postage.” $4.69. Below it, you can purchase “Nasal Douche Powder” for $.049. Gag!
Turning to page 46, in the baby supply section, we find the missing bulb syringe, labeled “Infants’ Syringe” and coming in 1 and 2 ½ ounce sizes for $0.19 and $0.42. With a red rubber bulb and a black hard rubber pipe, it looks like a dead ringer for the syringes that irrigated my little bottom from infancy to about first grade. I enjoyed the one ounce size until just before I started kindergarten and it had the red rubber bulb and black hard rubber pipe, just like the one in the catalog.
Then when I was “graduated” to the “big syringe” which happened to hold four ounces. I was SO proud of that because it meant I was a big girl then, like my older sister. And besides, I’d actually seen my mother use that very syringe on herself once and now I was so grown up I was getting my enemas with it. It let mom give me much bigger enemas, too, something I appreciated the first time it was used on me. I forget now exactly how much I took, but Mom made a big fuss about how well I was doing and how much I was taking and I was just bursting with pride at my accomplishment. My bliss lasted until my older sister graduated to the fountain syringe a couple of years later.
I’m trying to convince my husband that we need a new $1000.00 scanner so we can post some pages from this catalog. Don’t hold your breath waiting, though. Our discussion has already gotten to the point where I’ve been promised a spanking if I even bring the subject up again. Sigh! It’s a rough world, but I know how much The Net needs those pictures, so I’ll keep trying even if it means my poor bottom will be spanked severely.
“My only regret is that I have but one ass to give for my net.”