Brevicon 21-Day 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.
Syntex Incorporated produced this Brevicon brand oral contraceptive in Humacao, Puerto Rico, around 1972. The Brevicon 21-Day tablet is in a trademarked Memorette tablet dispenser. The dispenser is in a blue plastic compact case embossed with a profile bust of a woman. This pill pack was distributed by the manufacturer as a “Professional Sample” and includes an informational booklet for the first-time user.
Currently not on view
Object Name
pharmaceutical, compact of
contraceptive, oral
date made
ca 1972
Syntex F.P. Inc.
Physical Description
norethindrone, 0.5 mg (drug active ingredients)
ethinyl estradiol, 0.035 mg (drug active ingredients)
plastic (container material)
paper (container material)
overall: 1.8 cm x 9.5 cm x 12.5 cm; 11/16 in x 3 3/4 in x 4 15/16 in
overall: 11/16 in x 3 3/4 in x 4 3/4 in; 1.7145 cm x 9.525 cm x 12.065 cm
place made
Puerto Rico: Humacao, Humacao
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
Additional Media

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