Nordette 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.
Wyeth Laboratories of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, produced this Nordette brand oral contraceptive around 1982. The 28-pill regimen is in a grey blister pack, in a grey plastic holder with the days of the week inscribed around the rim. The pills slide into a grey plastic sleeve for carrying. The monthly regimen consists of 21 peach hormonal tablets, and 7 inert pink tablets. The prescription comes with a booklet containing user information entitled “On your way with Nordette.”
Currently not on view
Object Name
contraceptive, oral
date made
Wyeth-Ayerst Laboratories
Physical Description
levonorgestrel, 0.15 mg (drug active ingredients)
ethinyl estradiol, 30 mcg (drug active ingredients)
plastic (sleeve material)
plastic (blister pack material)
aluminum foil (blister pack material)
paper (leaflets material)
overall: 18.33 cm x 5.85 cm x .5 cm; 7 3/16 in x 2 5/16 in x 3/16 in
overall: 7 1/4 in x 2 1/4 in x 1/4 in; 18.415 cm x 5.715 cm x .635 cm
place made
United States: Pennsylvania, Philadelphia
ID Number
accession number
catalog 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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