Norlutin Oral Contraceptive

Norlutin 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, manufactured this Norlutin brand oral contraceptive during the early 1960s. Norlutin was a very early progestin hormone that was synthesized from Mexican yams. The 30 white tablets are contained in a small amber glass bottle with tan label and red cap. This is a very early oral contraceptive, indicated by the high dosage (five milligrams) and lack of memory-aid packaging.
Currently not on view
Object Name
pharmaceutical, bottle of
contraceptive, oral
date made
ca 1960
Parke, Davis and Company
place made
United States: Michigan, Detroit
Physical Description
norethindrone, 5.0 mg (overall material)
overall: 6 cm x 3 cm x 3 cm; 2 3/8 in x 1 3/16 in x 1 3/16 in
overall: 2 in x 7/8 in; 5.08 cm x 2.2225 cm
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Credit Line
The Fournet Drugstore Collection
Birth Control/Contraception
Women's Health
Women's Health
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Medicine
Birth Control
Health & Medicine
Data Source
National Museum of American History

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