Health & Medicine
The Museum's collections of medical science artifacts represent nearly all aspects of health and medical practice. Highlights include early X-ray apparatuses, such as one of Wilhelm Roentgen's tubes, penicillin mold from Alexander Fleming’s experiments, and Jonas Salk's original polio vaccine. More recent acquisitions include the first artificial heart implanted in a human, the earliest genetically engineered drugs, and materials related to David, the "Bubble Boy." Other artifacts range from artificial limbs and implant devices to bloodletting and dental instruments, beauty products, and veterinary equipment. The contents of a medieval apothecary shop and an 1890s drugstore form part of the collections, along with patent and alternative medicines. The collections also document the many differing perspectives on health and medical issues, from patients, family members, doctors, nurses, medical students, and out-of-the-mainstream health practitioners.
"Health & Medicine - Overview" showing 1 items.
- 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-Novum 1/80 brand oral contraceptive in 1974. The 28-pill regimen came in Ortho’s patented DialPak dispenser. The dispenser displays the day of the week, which changes as the patient rotates the rim to dispense the next day’s pill. To maintain the routine of taking a daily pill, many manufacturers began including a fourth week of pills that were inert. This Ortho-Novum regimen contains 28 pills, including 7 tablets that were inert.
- Currently not on view
- date made
- Ortho Pharmaceutical Corporation
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- accession number
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- Data Source
- National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center