Ortho-Cept Oral Contraceptive

Ortho-Cept 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.
The Ortho Pharmaceutical Corporation of Raritan, New Jersey, produced this Ortho-Tri-Cyclen 28 oral contraceptive around 1992. The 28-pill regimen is in a red foil wrapper that contains a DialPak dispenser and a booklet entitled “Questions and answers on Ortho-Cyclen tablets.” Ortho trademarked the term DialPak in 1965, and was the first company to release their medication in a memory-aid device, now ubiquitous among makers of oral contraceptives.
Currently not on view
Object Name
contraceptive, oral
date made
product expiration date
Ortho Pharmaceutical Corporation
Diosynth bv
place made
United States: New Jersey, Raritan
Netherlands: North Brabant, Oss
Physical Description
desogestrel, 0.15 mg (drug (orange tablet) active ingredients)
ethinyl estradiol, 0.03 mg (drug (orange tablet) active ingredients)
foil (package material)
paper (booklet material)
plastic (package material)
overall: 14.25 cm x 9.5 cm x 1.5 cm; 5 5/8 in x 3 3/4 in x 9/16 in
overall: 3/4 in x 3 7/8 in x 5 3/4 in; 1.905 cm x 9.8425 cm x 14.605 cm
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
Credit Line
Gift of Gladys 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.


Add a comment about this object