Loestrin 21 1.5/30 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.
Parke-Davis and Company of Detroit, Michigan, produced this Loestrin 21 1.5/30 brand oral contraceptive around 1976. This Loestrin 21-pill starter pack consists of a folder with a large photograph of a mammalian ovulation on the cover with the question, “How much estrogen does it really take to control nature?” The inside of the folder has a quote from the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists saying that less than 50 micrograms of estrogen can be used when combined with a stronger progestin. The other interior side of the folder promotes this lower 30-microgram dose of estrogen, available in 21-and 28-day regimens. A light green Petipac pill dispenser attached to the front of the folder that a profile image of a girl embossed on the lid. The Petipac contains a blister pack with three rows of seven green pills.
Currently not on view
Object Name
contraceptive, oral
date made
ca 1976
Parke, Davis and Company
Physical Description
norethindrone acetate, 1.5 mg (drug active ingredients)
ethinyl estradiol, 30 mcg (drug active ingredients)
plastic (packaging material)
foil (packaging material)
paper (folder and leaflet material)
overall: folder: 28 cm x 23 cm; 11 in x 9 1/16 in
tablet dispenser: 9.1 cm x 6.4 cm x .8 cm; 3 9/16 in x 2 1/2 in x 5/16 in
overall, display: 11 in x 8 in x 1/8 in; 27.94 cm x 20.32 cm x .3175 cm
overall, packet: 2 1/2 in x 3 5/8 in x 1/4 in; 6.35 cm x 9.2075 cm x .635 cm
place made
United States: Michigan, Detroit
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 Abell and Lester D. Johnson, Jr., M.D.
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