Desogen Oral Contraceptives

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.
Organon International of Oss, Holland, produced this Desogen oral contraceptive at their American subsidiary in West Orange, New Jersey, around 1993. This professional sample of Desogen is in a sealed foil wrapper that contains a tablet dispenser with 21 white hormonal tablets and 7 inert green tablets.
Currently not on view
Object Name
oral contraceptive
contraceptive, oral
date made
Organon Inc.
Physical Description
desogestrel, 0.15 mg (drug active ingredients)
ethinyl estradiol, 0.03 mg (drug active ingredients)
foil (packet material)
overall: 13 cm x 5.5 cm x 1 cm; 5 1/8 in x 2 3/16 in x 3/8 in
overall: 2 1/2 in x 5 1/8 in x 1/2 in; 6.35 cm x 13.0175 cm x 1.27 cm
place made
United States: New Jersey, West Orange
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 Gladys Johnson
Additional Media

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