Ovral 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 Inc. of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, produced this Ovral brand oral contraceptive around 1968. The 21 pills are in a blister pack that is inserted into a white plastic holder. The holder has the days of the week embossed around the perimeter. The pills come with a carrying sleeve decorated with flowers and a butterfly. This box of physician’s samples includes 6 blister packs that were used as refills for the white plastic dispenser.
Currently not on view
Object Name
contraceptive, oral
date made
ca 1968
Wyeth Laboratories
Physical Description
norgestrol, 0.5 mg (drug active ingredients)
ethinyl estradiol, 0.05 mg (drug active ingredients)
overall: 15.1 cm x 4.8 cm x 5.8 cm; 5 15/16 in x 1 7/8 in x 2 5/16 in
overall, box: 6 1/8 in x 1 7/8 in x 2 7/8 in; 15.5575 cm x 4.7625 cm x 7.3025 cm
overall, pill pack: 2 1/8 in x 5 5/8 in x 1/4 in; 5.3975 cm x 14.2875 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 Margaret Sanger Center
Additional Media

Visitor Comments

Add a comment about this object

**Please read before submitting the form**

Have a comment or question about this object to share with the community? Please use the form below. Selected comments will appear on this page and may receive a museum response (but we can't promise). Please note that we generally cannot answer questions about the history, rarity, or value of your personal artifacts.

Have a question about anything else, or would you prefer a personal response? Please visit our FAQ or contact page.

Personal information will not be shared or result in unsolicited e-mail. See our privacy policy.

Enter the characters shown in the image.