Enovid-E 21 Oral Contraceptive

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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.
G. D. Searle and Company of Chicago, Illinois, produced this Enovid-E 21 brand oral contraceptive around 1975. This 21 pill blister pack is in a trademarked Compack plastic case. The gold-foil blister pack organizes the monthly dosage into three weekly rows, with each column labeled for the day of the week. This pack includes a pamphlet directing patients on proper usage. This object was donated to the Museum as a dispenser that did not fall under the claims of David Wagner’s patent (seen in object 1995.0057.01).
Currently not on view
date made
ca 1975
G. D. Searle and Company
place made
United States: Illinois, Chicago
Physical Description
paper (insert material)
plastic (container material)
foil (container material)
norethynodrel, 2.5 mg (drug active ingredients)
mestranol, 0.1 mg (drug active ingredients)
overall: 10.5 cm x 5.4 cm x 1 cm; 4 1/8 in x 2 1/8 in x 3/8 in
overall: 3/8 in x 4 1/8 in x 2 1/8 in; .9525 cm x 10.4775 cm x 5.3975 cm
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Credit Line
David P. Wagner
Birth Control/Contraception
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Medicine
Birth Control
Health & Medicine
Data Source
National Museum of American History


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