Skip to main content Smithsonian Institution

Catalog Data

Ortho Pharmaceutical Corporation  Search this
Physical Description:
norgestimate, 0.250 mg (drug (blue tablet) active ingredients)
ethinyl estradiol, 0.035 mg (drug (blue tablet) active ingredients)
foil (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
Object Name:
contraceptive, oral
Place made:
United States: New Jersey, Raritan
Date made:
Product expiration date:
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-Cyclen brand oral contraceptive around 1990. The 28-pill monthly regimen is in a purple foil wrapper that contains a DialPak dispenser and booklet titled “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. This DialPak dispenser contains 21 blue hormonal tablets and 7 green inert tablets.
Currently not on view
Birth Control/Contraception  Search this
Women's Health  Search this
Credit Line:
Gift of Gladys Johnson
ID Number:
Accession number:
Catalog number:
See more items in:
Medicine and Science: Medicine
Birth Control
Health & Medicine
Data Source:
National Museum of American History