Ortho-Novum Dialpak

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 is an Ortho-Novum Dialpak dispenser that was manufactured by the Ortho Pharmaceutical Company of Raritan, New Jersey, during the 1960s. The 20-pill Dialpak has a central “calendar disc” listing the days of the week, with each day aligning with the pill slot that containing that day’s pill. This Dialpak originally dispensed a 10-milligram pill, but is now empty. The back of the Dialpak contains instructions on how to use the device.
Currently not on view
Object Name
contraceptive, oral
pharmaceutical, Dial Pak
oral contraceptive, demonstration package
date made
ca 1963
Ortho Pharmaceutical Corporation
Physical Description
plastic (container material)
mestranol,.06 mg (drug active ingredients)
norethindrone,10 mg (drug active ingredients)
overall: .6 cm x 6.5 cm; 1/4 in x 2 9/16 in
overall: 3/8 in x 2 5/8 in; .9525 cm x 6.6675 cm
place made
United States: New Jersey, Raritan
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 Margaret Sanger Center
Additional Media

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