unknown reflective material (angled mirror material)
overall: 3 in x 1 5/8 in x 1 5/8 in; 7.62 cm x 4.1275 cm x 4.1275 cm
diagnostic, pregnancy, design prototype
United States: New Jersey, West Orange
Date of invention:
FDA approval date:
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.