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Read, Watch and Listen

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

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

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

"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

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

"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

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

The Home Front 1

TASS Window 1115: 'A Sacred Duty', 22 December 1944. The leading Window for the Home Front theme on the website, this poster proclaims its message in the title.  The cavalry's ‘sacred duty’  is not so much a religious mission as an obligation to liberate fellow Russians and the common homeland. The poster combines traditional military equine painting with an all but cartoon approach to the rescued citizens, bottom right.

The Home Front 2

TASS Window 1039 'Fruit and Veg to the Front', 29 August 1944. This near idyllic scene was meant to encourage food production for the front line. It urges Russians at home to send their best produce for the 'soldier -heroes'. The image is sugary, backed up by the choice of  pastel colours, and reminiscent of 1930s painting in the name of socialist realism. It also implies the tough role taken on by women in the war effort. The orderly fields in the background reassuringly suggest that all is well on the collective farms despite the war devastation elsewhere.

The Home Front 3

TASS Window 1197, 'The Carpathian Mountains', 29 April 1945. Using the skills of landscape painting, this poster draws in the spectator to follow the heroic trek of the Red Army across the Carpathian Mountains in the winter of 1944-45. Their task was to confront the enemy forces by whatever means and continue to drive them out of Russia. The Carpathians may provide a barrier but nothing was insuperable to the Red Army. The verse recalls that Suvorov, a  famous general  under Catherine the Great and her son Paul, had not been daunted either by this epic crossing. As a barrier, the mountains also protect, and they remind Russian spectators of the beauty of their homeland.