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Alliance through contraception

“If the husband prefers to take charge and be responsible for birth control, he will want to use withdrawal or a sheath. If the wife takes the responsibility she has a wide choice. In either case the needs and views of the other partner will have to be considered”. 1966. Physician's circulars / Syntex, 'Norinyl-1'. By kind permission of Roche. Courtesy of Julia Larden, and the Wellcome Library, London. Photography by J Borge 2014 CC BY 4.0

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A Somerset folksong, 'Dashing Away with the Smoothing Iron' [c.1900] provides the hebdomadal basis for this mailing campaign.

With express reference to 21-day regimens, it is suggested that the domestic schedule of the sixties housewife might be matched to routine self-administration of oral contraceptives. 1966. Physician's circular, No.4 in a series of 7 / Parke Davis, 'Norlestrin-21'. By kind permission of Pfizer. Courtesy of Julia Larden, and the Wellcome Library, London. Photography by J Borge 2014 CC BY 4.0

Read more about A Somerset folksong, 'Dashing Away with the Smoothing Iron' [c.1900] provides the hebdomadal basis for this mailing campaign.

"Life is not restricted, but enriched".

This campaign utilises a contemporaneous resurgence in child psychology, marking the young, healthy multipara as facilitator of family well being; once enabled as a strategic contraceptor, pregnancies are viable and desired, and emotional privation is negated all round. 1966. Physician's circular, No.3 in a series of 4 / Syntex, 'Norinyl-1'. By kind permission of Roche. Courtesy of Julia Larden, and the Wellcome Library, London. Photography by J Borge 2014 CC BY 4.0

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Phase one of this campaign suggested that a housewife's hebdomadal domestic schedule could anchor the routine self-administration of oral contraceptives.

In these alternate instalments, figure and ground are reversed; "Thursday's girl has a full calendar, but she has less need for a calendar since taking her Norlestrin 21-tablet course”. c.1967. Physician's circulars / Parke Davis, 'Norlestrin-21'. By kind permission of Pfizer. Courtesy of Julia Larden, and the Wellcome Library, London. Photography by J Borge 2014 CC BY 4.0

Read more about Phase one of this campaign suggested that a housewife's hebdomadal domestic schedule could anchor the routine self-administration of oral contraceptives.

Traditionally a manufacturer of spermicidal pessaries, Rendell proffered 'Norolen' (an 'Oral') via pseudo-pedagogic means: the discrete, quick-reference doctor's booklet, explaining different denominations of oral contraceptive.

"Properly kept, this hand-book should be of great assistance in enabling you to prescribe for your patients with minimal consultation". 1967. ‘Oral Control of Conception’ medical handbook / WJ Rendell, 'Norolen'. By kind permission of WJ Rendell Limited. Courtesy of Julia Larden, and the Wellcome Library, London. Photography by J Borge 2014 CC BY 4.0

Read more about Traditionally a manufacturer of spermicidal pessaries, Rendell proffered 'Norolen' (an 'Oral') via pseudo-pedagogic means: the discrete, quick-reference doctor's booklet, explaining different denominations of oral contraceptive.

The patient's first month: brochure, instructions, with glossy gatefold sleeve [pills not shown].

The patient’s first month: brochure, instructions, with glossy gatefold sleeve [pills not shown]. As advertised in journals, "This starter kit is a stopper. It stops ovulation. And it stops that wasteful drain on the doctor's time-over frequent calls for reassurance about disturbing side effects". 1967. Select collateral from 'Starter Kit' / Eli Lilly & Company, 'Sequens'. With the kind cooperation of Eli Lilly. Courtesy of Julia Larden, and the Wellcome Library, London. Photography by J Borge 2014 CC BY 4.0

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"Now Women's Freedom is Complete"

Emancipatory accounts of the Pill’s envisioned impact had been cultivated through corporate literature since 1961, with the American Andromeda campaign [for ‘Enovid’]. This ‘Suffragette’ item anticipates the centrality of reproductive autonomy to second-wave feminists and the nascent Women’s Liberation Movement. 1967. Calendar for 1968 / Eli Lilly & Company, 'C-Quens 21'. With the kind cooperation of Eli Lilly. Courtesy of Julia Larden, and the Wellcome Library, London. Photography by J Borge 2014 CC BY 4.0

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Sorted.

“Little publicity, much less than it deserves, has been given to…(oral contraception) for the production of highly desirable and pleasant side-effects. These would include personal happiness of the patient, presumably from confidence in the future that the method affords…” Murphy, J.E. (1968) Clinical Trials Journal, 5, 143. 1968. Physician's circular / Searle, 'Ovulen'. By kind permission of Pfizer. Courtesy of Julia Larden, and the Wellcome Library, London. Photography by J Borge 2014 CC BY 4.0

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"Millions of women throughout the world accept and trust Ovulen 1mg"

Several oral contraceptive brands sought market differentiation by presenting motivational models of ideal end users in print campaigns, e.g. the affluent, white multipara. Here, typical racial typing is [ostensibly] reversed, and ‘Ovulen’ claims authority through universality as “The Accepted Contraceptive”. 1969. Physician's circular / Searle, 'Ovulen 1mg'. By kind permission of Pfizer. Courtesy of Julia Larden, and the Wellcome Library, London. Photography by J Borge 2014 CC BY 4.0

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Mrs Everywoman's "Passport to Freedom"

Fanfare campaign announcing validation for the American brand ‘C-Quens 21’ in British trials. The modern British wife might now expect “freedom to plan her family as she chooses” but also “a very low incidence of depression and loss of libido”. 1969. Physician's circulars / Eli Lilly & Company, 'C-Quens'. With the kind cooperation of Eli Lilly. Courtesy of Julia Larden, and the Wellcome Library, London. Photography by J Borge 2014 CC BY 4.0

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