Ortho Tri-Cyclen 28 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.
The Ortho Pharmaceutical Corporation of Raritan, New Jersey, produced this Ortho-Tri-Cyclen 28 pill oral contraceptive around 1999. The pills are contained in a pink plastic DialPak compact container. The object consists of the DialPak, a packaged refill of a 28 pill monthly dose of Ortho Tri-Cyclen, and pamphlets containing user instructions. The DialPak was made to accommodate refills, one of which is shown in its foil pack. The center dial would be set to a day of the week, the refill would be inserted into the DialPak with the first pill matching the day of the week, and each subsequent pill would be dispensed on the correct day through the bottom of the DialPak.
Currently not on view
Object Name
contraceptive, oral
date made
ca 1999
Ortho Pharmaceutical Corporation
Physical Description
norgestimate, 0.180 mg (drug (white tablet) active ingredients)
norgestimate, 0.215 mg (drug (light blue tablet) active ingredients)
norgestimate, 0.250 mg (drug (blue tablet) active ingredients)
ethinyl estradiol, 0.035 mg (drug active ingredients)
plastic (compact material)
plastic (blister pack material)
foil (blister pack material)
plastic (package material)
paper (inserts material)
dispenser refill: 12.8 cm x 8 cm x 1 cm; 5 1/16 in x 3 1/8 in x 3/8 in
overall: 7/8 in x 3 in x 4 3/4 in; 2.2225 cm x 7.62 cm x 12.065 cm
place made
United States: New Jersey, Raritan
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
Birth Control/Contraception
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Medicine
Birth Control
Health & Medicine
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Additional Media

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