Chinese 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.
This oral contraceptive was manufactured by the Beijing Pharmaceutical Factory in Beijing, China, in 1988. Contraceptives became important in China after the government instituted its family planning policy in 1978. The 21 pills are in a silver blister pack. Each pill contains .3 milligrams of norgestrel and .03 milligrams of ethinyl estradiol. The contraceptive pack includes an insert with instructions for use.
Currently not on view
Object Name
contraceptive, oral
date made
Physical Description
foil (blister pack material)
plastic (blister pack material)
paper (leaflet material)
norethisterone (drug active ingredients)
overall: 7.7 cm x 5.6 cm x .4 cm; 3 1/32 in x 2 7/32 in x 5/32 in
overall, pill pack: 2 1/8 in x 3 in x 1/8 in; 5.3975 cm x 7.62 cm x .3175 cm
overall, instructions sheet: 3 in x 5 in; 7.62 cm x 12.7 cm
place made
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
Credit Line
Gift of Kiehl's Inc.
Additional Media

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