Ortho-Novum 10/11 Oral Contraceptive

Description (Brief)
The popularity of “the Pill” created a new market for pharmaceutical companies. For the first time, healthy women would be taking medication for an extended period of time. Pill manufacturers developed unique packaging in order to distinguish their product from those of their competitors and build brand loyalty. Packaging design often incorporated a “memory aid” to assist women in tracking their daily pill regimen, as well as styled cases to allow pills to be discreetly carried in bags and purses. The National Museum of American History’s Division of Medicine and Science’s collection of oral contraceptives illustrates some of the changes that the packaging and marketing of the Pill underwent from its inception in 1960 to the present.
The Ortho Pharmaceutical Corporation of Manati, Puerto Rico, produced this Ortho-Novum 10/11 brand oral contraceptive around 1981. The monthly dosage is in a 28-pill DialPak dispenser and consists of 10 white tablets of estrogen, 11 peach tablets of combination estrogen and progesterone pills, and 7 green inert pills. The contraceptives are packaged in a blue foil wrapper as a physician’s sample that was not for sale.
Currently not on view
Object Name
oral contraceptive
date made
ca 1981
Ortho Pharmaceutical Corporation
Physical Description
foil, aluminum (package material)
plastic (dispenser material)
paper (insert material)
norethindrone, 0.5 mg (drug (white tablet) active ingredients)
norethindrone, 1 mg (drug (peach tablet) active ingredients)
ethinyl estradiol, 0.035 mg (drug) active ingredients)
overall: 1.8 cm x 8.7 cm x 13 cm; 11/16 in x 3 7/16 in x 5 1/8 in
overall: 3/4 in x 3 3/4 in x 5 3/8 in; 1.905 cm x 9.525 cm x 13.6525 cm
place made
Puerto Rico: Arecibo, Manatí
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Birth Control/Contraception
Health & Medicine
Birth Control
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Medicine
Birth Control
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center

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