Ovulen-28 Oral Contraceptive

Ovulen-28 Oral Contraceptive

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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.
G. D. Searle and Company of Chicago, Illinois, produced this Ovulen-28 brand oral contraceptive around 1977. This 28-pill blister pack is contained in Searle’s trademarked “Compack” plastic case. The monthly dosage is arranged in four rows of 7 pills, with the day of the week at the top of each column. The pack includes a pamphlet on proper usage. To maintain the routine of taking a daily pill, Ovulen-28 contains a fourth week of pills that are inert. This object was donated to the Museum as a dispenser that did not come under the claims of David Wagner’s patent (seen in object 1995.0057.01).
Searle introduced Ovulen-28 in 1969. Advertisements stated, “there will be no more confusion about “off-week,” calendars and charts. No more anxiety so common to women who have more on their minds than medication.”
Currently not on view
Object Name
medication dispenser
oral contraceptive
contraceptive, oral
medicine dispenser
date made
ca 1977
G. D. Searle and Company
place made
Puerto Rico: San Juan, San Juan
Physical Description
paper (instructions leaflet material)
plastic (tablet dispenser case material)
mestranol, 0.1 mg (drug active ingredients)
ethynodiol diacetate, 1 mg (drug active ingredients)
foil, aluminum (blister pack material)
overall: 9.8 cm x 6.4 cm x 1 cm; 3 7/8 in x 2 1/2 in x 3/8 in
overall: 3/8 in x 3 7/8 in x 2 1/2 in; .9525 cm x 9.8425 cm x 6.35 cm
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Credit Line
David P. Wagner
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
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