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Thread: Ancient History

  1. #1

    Default Ancient History

    Following the thread here asking about older AB/DL's I'm interested to hear how the older members of the forum coped in the pre internet days regarding buying nappies and plastic pants. What was available and from where?

    I (as I mentioned in the linked thread) only got back into the scene after seeing some products on Ebay and prior to that knew nothing about adult products.

  2. #2


    back then the diapers and plastic pants selections were limited to pharmacies, medical supply stores or through specialty mail order catalogs
    Sears and Montgomery Wards used to have incontinence supplies in there catalogs back in the 1970' and 80's

  3. #3


    For many years, I made my own cloth diapers and plastic pants.

  4. #4



    Being ic...since forever...

    My mom got them till I was old enough, then I did...

    Medical supply store was the best selection/quality in the 80's...

    There were several times that either ran out or forgot when up at the cabin...then it was baby diapers, as large as the local store had, and some tape...that sucked!

  5. #5


    Towels, tee shirts in "tighty whities" rags & garbage bags oh and stolen maxi pads too helped the fantasy desire live in the 60s & 70s. I got my first disposables in the early 80s and ordered my first cloth diapers & rubber pantys from the DPF in the internet's infancy in the mid 90s, and still have them.

  6. #6


    A lot of Medical supply stores had Attends in those days, before that it was what ever you could find.

  7. #7


    Quote Originally Posted by Forced View Post
    Following the thread here asking about older AB/DL's I'm interested to hear how the older members of the forum coped in the pre internet days regarding buying nappies and plastic pants. What was available and from where?

    I (as I mentioned in the linked thread) only got back into the scene after seeing some products on Ebay and prior to that knew nothing about adult products.
    Whilst I don't think I classify as "older" in as much that I'm just 34... but as I've been needing IC Products my entire life that does indeed include ordering / buying predating the availability through online-shops.

    So before that I was a frequent customer (respectively before that, my parents were the paying customers) at various medical supply stores, depending on where we used to live or some larger pharmacies.
    Most of the Med supply stores at least were very much able and willing to sell at reduced prices if ordered in larger quantities - compared to pharmacies who usually do no such thing.

    When I started to buy on my own (16ish) I was able to source a local big distributor of TENA - now the thing is this, that most of these big companies like tena, paperpak (attends), etc... don't sell directly to the med supply stores, pharmacies etc... the usually go through a network of major distributors... and sometimes you find one of them who's willing under some "gray area", to sell directly to end-customers... usually frowned upon by both the manufacturer and of course the medical supply stores, but I guess the distributor finds it a lucrative side income.
    Thus I was able to buy "bulk" at greatly reduced prices compared to the med-store / pharmacy.
    Especially since my family had moved to Switzerland, pharmacies have proven to be nightmares.
    For example they effectively sell you (these days) a pack of Tena Slip Maxi for approx. 75$ (a pack of 24 diapers)...
    Whilst over the internet I can get the same pack for 20$ (even less if I buy larger quantities which I usually do)...
    So even the online shop makes some profit on top of the 20$...

    Also some stuff we used to order from abroad - such back in the day where we tried cloth (bad memories... ;/ )- those products my mom ordered from a place in germany including the matching (yucky) plastic pants... at least that was just a short attempt. Same goes for the AIO that we tried...
    Stuff like that at the time was simply hard to find here in switzerland.

    Also for some time it was easy to find pharmacies who had Attends Slip in stock - one of my preferred products - these days its either Tena or Molicare they carry in stock...

    These days I either buy online but mostly through a small local medical supply store specialised on IC products and they are CHEAP - prices like the better online stores.
    I do this because I can easily drive by, pick up what I need, get a fully itemised bill that I can then send my Insurance company... and whilst they only cover a limited sum, at least this way they can't wriggle out of it by any route.
    The stuff they (that store) doesn't have I order online.

  8. #8


    As a teenager (pre-internet) you took your chances in the local supermarket or drugstore. Not being able to drive meant that you had to buy local and I was always petrified that I would get caught. I started off buying baby diapers (I didn't know adult ones existed) and thought up loads of excuses in case somebody caught me.. Then moved on to adult drugstore diapers when I was slightly older. I have only recently started buying off the internet, so much easier..

  9. #9


    eeeeeeeeee, in th' owden days...........
    well, when i first started out, back in the seventies, i was lucky enough to live in the local shop and started off by pilfering 'baby-pants'. nappies were any old towel, but at first i used a towelling jumper because it was the easy way to fasten it (using the arms).
    when we moved up here, in the early eighties, things were a little harder. being a former textile/mining village, the only realistic option was to travel further afield, especially as my mum was well known and i'm fairly distinctive looking. even though we had a well supplied village chemist, in those days the available products were pretty dire; even dispies for babies were a novelty until the mid-to-late eighties and for the incontinent, products were mainly pads, stretch-net pants and cheap plastic-pants which weren't designed for proper nappies (they even used to do cotton padding on a roll, which you cut to length).
    mostly, i would buy pants and pads from Boots, from either the nearby town or the next village which had a better main street, although i still bought baby-pants until i could no longer fit in them. by then, there wasn't much point in wearing a nappy beneath them; the reason is that baby-pants are designed to go over nappies, while the inco pants were designed for pads. the baby-pants, therefore, just looked better proportioned.
    naturally, i also experimented with making my own pants, but in those days there wasn't the suitable materials available.

    my first inkling that disposables weren't just made for babies came whilst watching a telly programme 'for schools', sometime in the mid-eighties, and which featured a mother with three sons, one of whom was incontinent and was supplied with disposables by the health authority; it was said very casually, like you could've missed it, but my ears pricked and so began my hunt for larger-than-baby-sized disposables.
    of course, it being the olden days (and my being a schooly), things took much longer to find than would be nowadays.

    i'm not sure, but i think my first non-baby disposable may have been ones which i stole (no further details) and which were standard NHS offerings of a basic design which was that of the first disposables (basically, like a Goodnites/Drynites bedsheet with a couple of tapes for fastening).
    "at least they are available. now to find better ones. there must better ones."
    by now the late eighties, me being mobile and a bit more savvy, i let my fingers do the walking, although i was still limited to the local phone book.

    lots of ringing around, lots of dead-ends, lots of wasted petrol and lots of time later, i was getting somewhere.
    mostly, the available products were crap and it wasn't until around 1990, or thereafter, that the adult disposable market began to emerge.
    my big surprise was found in the next village, in the local chemist who began stocking Slipad,
    Attachment 20384Attachment 20385
    but don't be fooled: they were dire. and that's despite me loving them.
    yes, they were thick and crinkly, but they also couldn't stand up to use and wearing. in common with all adult disposables of the time (as far as i know), the resins which held the layer together would fail once damp. mostly, it would be told in the elastics, but occasionally the liner would detach and padding fall out.

    as the adult disposable market developed during the nineties, more and more brands and styles became more easily available. mobility/disability shops stocked the greatest range, but Depends were also widely available from many retailers.
    throughout the nineties, as an emerging market, there were lots of players, each trying the make their mark and find their niche, and it was probably the time of the greatest diversity in inco-gear; in fact, the latest skimpy, belt-a-like designs (euro-Attends, etc) stem from a forgotten product of the nineties (i still have a couple, knocking about).
    during this time, my mainstay of new products became a small wholesaler/supplier to nursing homes in a nearby town.

    also during this time, old textile mills began to coin-it in on the fun and make their own brands and/or act as distributors for the foreign/global players. these mills also became a source for me. similarly, a major player had a depot nearby and i bought their products direct from the warehouse until the mid-noughties.

    in the very late nineties, one of my regulars became a specialist pharmacy, almost next-door to a place where i was working, for my, by then, favourite kendall Lille (until they were bought out by so-and-so and went crap).

    the year 2000, i got www'ed. still, i'm not shy of the old ways and i still source from the small wholesaler i found in the nineties.

  10. #10


    I first discovered adult-sized disposables in 1982. I didn't find out about DPF until late 1987, and that was a complete ... uh, accident.

    Since I had a small waist, I bought Curity 21X40 cloth diapers and found some adult plastic pants at a healthcare store. This was 1985. I remember the first time my girlfriend diapered me; we woke up in a very wet bed!

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