Norinyl 1/80 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 Syntex Corporation of Humacoa, Puerto Rico, manufactured this Norinyl 1/80 brand oral contraceptive around 1978. The medication was packaged in a cardboard sleeve decorated with images of flowers and a bird. The medicine was dispensed in Syntex’s trademarked Memorette container that features a female bust in profile embossed on the lid. Inside the container is a 21-pill blister pack that organizes the monthly regimen into three rows of 7 pills that are numbered 1–21.
Currently not on view
Object Name
contraceptive, oral
oral contraceptive
date made
ca 1978
Syntex Inc.
Physical Description
norethindrone, 1 mg (drug active ingredients)
mestranol, 0.08 mg (drug active ingredients)
overall: 11.8 cm x 9.3 cm x 2 cm; 4 5/8 in x 3 11/16 in x 13/16 in
overall: 7/8 in x 5 3/8 in x 3 7/8 in; 2.2225 cm x 13.6525 cm x 9.8425 cm
place made
Puerto Rico: Humacao, Humacao
ID Number
catalog number
accession 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.
Additional Media

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