Triphasil-21 Oral Contraceptive

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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.
Wyeth Laboratories of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, produced this Triphasil-21 brand oral contraceptive around 1984. The monthly dosage of 28 pills consists of 6 brown, 5 white, 10 yellow, and 7 green tablets in a blister pack housed in a grey compact case. Triphasil-21 is packaged in a purple box with the advertising slogan, “The First Oral Contraceptive Tuned to Her Timing,” and includes an instructional paper insert.
Currently not on view
date made
ca 1984
Wyeth Laboratories
place made
United States: Pennsylvania, Philadelphia
Physical Description
paper (envelope material)
levonorgestrel, 0.050 mg; ethinyl estradiol, 0.030 mg (drug (brown tablet) active ingredients)
levonorgestrel, 0.075 mg; ethinyl estradiol, 0.040 mg (drug (white tablet) active ingredients)
levonorgestrel, 0.125 mg; ethinyl estradiol, 0.030 mg (drug (yellow tablet) active ingredients)
foil (blister pack material)
plastic (case material)
plastic (blister pack material)
paper (inserts material)
overall: 1.9 cm x 8.8 cm x 7.6 cm; 3/4 in x 3 7/16 in x 3 in
overall: 3 in x 3 1/2 in x 3/4 in; 7.62 cm x 8.89 cm x 1.905 cm
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Credit Line
Gift of Gladys Abell Johnson
Birth Control/Contraception
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Medicine
Birth Control
Health & Medicine
Data Source
National Museum of American History


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