Predictor Pregnancy Test - Design Prototype


Margaret Crane, the inventor of the first home pregnancy test, worked as a graphic designer for Organon, a pharmaceutical company in West Orange, New Jersey. Crane received a patent on her design in 1968. Before the development of the Predictor, women needed to consult with their physician to receive confirmation of a pregnancy. With the Predictor, a woman could learn on her own whether she was pregnant---or not.

The process took about two hours and could be performed in the privacy of one’s own home. A woman who suspected she was pregnant put a few drops of urine in a test tube. She then added a chemical solution, shook the tube, and allowed it to rest for two hours. Women who were pregnant would then see a dark brown circle on a yellow background on the mirror on the bottom of the kit (if there was no pregnancy, the background remained completely yellow).

The makers of the test claimed a woman could use it to detect pregnancy as early as four days after a missed period. To avoid false negatives, consumer advocates recommended testing no sooner than 14 days after a missed period. In contrast, some doctors’ offices and/or clinics waited to perform a pregnancy test until roughly 45 days after a missed period.

The kit was sold in Canada and the Netherlands by the early 1970s. It took a little longer for the Predictor, which fell under the category of a “medical device,” to get FDA approval for the US; it was approved in 1976. In 1971, Canadians could buy the Predictor for approximately $5.50 (Canadian dollars). In the U.S. where ads for the predictor often appeared in ads for drug stores, it cost $7.95.

Date Made: 1968Date Of Invention: 1968Fda Approval Date: 1976

Maker: Crane, Margaret

Location: Currently not on view

Place Made: United States: New Jersey, West OrangeAssociated Place: CanadaNetherlands

Subject: PregnancyDiagnostic EquipmentObstetricsWomenWomen's Health ProductsWomen's HealthWomen Inventors


See more items in: Medicine and Science: Medicine, Health & Medicine, The Antibody Initiative, Antibody Initiative: Diagnostics


Exhibition Location:

Data Source: National Museum of American History

Id Number: 2015.0220.01Accession Number: 2015.0220Catalog Number: 2015.0220.01Patent Number: 215,774 S3,579,306 A

Object Name: biologicaldiagnostic, pregnancy, design prototype

Physical Description: plastic (box material)plastic (dropper material)rubber (dropper top material)plastic (test tube material)plastic (holder within the box material)unknown reflective material (angled mirror material)Measurements: overall: 3 in x 1 5/8 in x 1 5/8 in; 7.62 cm x 4.1275 cm x 4.1275 cm


Record Id: nmah_1803285

Our collection database is a work in progress. We may update this record based on further research and review. Learn more about our approach to sharing our collection online.

If you would like to know how you can use content on this page, see the Smithsonian's Terms of Use. If you need to request an image for publication or other use, please visit Rights and Reproductions.