Smithsonian museums continue to be closed to support the effort to contain the spread of COVID-19. Read a message from our director, and check our website and social media for updates.

Nordette Oral Contraceptive

Nordette Oral Contraceptive

<< >>
Usage conditions apply
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 of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, produced this Nordette brand oral contraceptive around 1982. The 21-pill regimen is in a grey blister pack that slides into a grey plastic sleeve. The prescription also comes with a booklet containing patient information.
Currently not on view
Object Name
contraceptive, oral
Wyeth Laboratories
place made
United States: Pennsylvania, Philadelphia
Physical Description
levonorgestrel, 0.15 mgmg (drug active ingredients)
plastic (sleeve material)
plastic (package material)
paper (booklet material)
ethinyl estradiol, 0.03 (drug active ingredients)
overall:.5 cm x 12 cm x 19.8 cm; 3/16 in x 4 3/4 in x 7 13/16 in
overall: 5 1/2 in x 2 1/4 in x 1/4 in; 13.97 cm x 5.715 cm x.635 cm
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Credit Line
Gift of Gladys Abell Johnson
Birth Control/Contraception
Women's Health
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Medicine
Birth Control
Health & Medicine
Data Source
National Museum of American History
Nominate this object for photography.   

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.

Note: Comment submission on our collection pages is temporarily unavailable. Please check back soon!

If you have a question or require a personal response, please visit our FAQ or contact page.