History of condoms


Published on

History of condoms

Published in: Education
  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

No Downloads
Total views
On SlideShare
From Embeds
Number of Embeds
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

History of condoms

  1. 1. History of Condoms www.theevansgroupllc.com Chip Evans, Ph.D. “When I write articles for clients I am teaching from a transpersonal psychology basis. I believe that most companies do not understand the history of their own company, let alone the history of how products were developed. History helps us understand HOW A PRODUCT OR CONCEPT IS DEVELOPED. For example, how many millions of dice have been sold, or toothpicks, condoms, and even Chapstick. We learn from viewing what was, what is, and what can be." -Chip Evans
  2. 2. History of Condoms 1000 BC Condom use can be traced back several thousand years. It is known that around 1000 BC the ancient Egyptians used a linen sheath for protection against disease. 100 – 200 AD The earliest evidence of condom use in Europe comes from scenes in cave paintings at Combarelles in France. There is also some evidence that some form of condom was used in imperial Rome. 1500’s The syphilis epidemic that spread across Europe gave rise to the first published account of the condom. Gabrielle Fallopius described a sheath of linen he claimed to have invented to protect men against syphilis. Having been found useful for prevention of infection, it was only later that the usefulness of the condom for the prevention of pregnancy was recognized. Later in the 1500s, one of the first improvements to the condom was made, when the linen cloth sheaths were sometimes soaked in a chemical solution and then allowed to dry prior to use. These were the first spermicides on condoms. 1700’s The first published use of the world 'condom' was in a 1706 poem. It has also been suggested that Condom was a doctor in the time of Charles II. It is believed that he invented the device to help the king to prevent the birth of more illegitimate children. Even the most famous lover of all, Casanova, was using the condom as a birth control as well as against infection. Condoms made out of animal intestines began to be available. However, they were quite expensive and the unfortunate result was that they were often reused. This type of condom was described at the time as “an armor against pleasure, and a cobweb against infection”. In the second half of the 1700's, a trade in handmade condoms thrived in London and some shops where producing handbills and advertisements of condoms. Chip Evans, Ph.D. www.theevansgroupllc.com Page | 2
  3. 3. History of Condoms 1800’s The use of condoms was affected by technological, economic and social development in Europe and the US in 1800s. Condom manufacturing was revolutionized by the discovery of rubber vulcanization by Goodyear (founder of the tyre company) and Hancock. This meant that is was possible to mass produce rubber goods including condoms quickly and cheaply. Vulcanisation is a process, which turns the rubber into a strong elastic material. In 1861, the first advertisement for condoms was published in an American newspaper when The New York Times printed an ad. for 'Dr. Power's French Preventatives.' In 1873, the Comstock Law was passed. Named after Anthony Comstock, the Comstock Law made illegal the advertising of any sort of birth control, and it also allowed the postal service to confiscate condoms sold through the mail. 1900’s Until the 1920's, most condoms were manufactured by hand-dipping from rubber cement. These kinds of condoms aged quickly and the quality was doubtful. In 1919, Frederick Killian initiated hand-dipping from natural rubber latex in Ohio. The latex condoms had the advantage of ageing less quickly and being thinner and odorless. These new type of condoms enjoyed a great expansion of sales. By the mid-1930s, the fifteen largest makers in the U.S. were producing 1.5 million condoms a day. In 1957, the very first lubricated condom was launched in the UK by Durex. From the early 1960s, use of condoms as a contraceptive device declined as the pill, the coil and sterilization became more popular. The use of the condom increased strikingly in many countries following the recognition of HIV/AIDS in the 1980's. Condoms also became available in pubs, bars, grocery stores and supermarkets. The female condom has been available in Europe since 1992 and it was approved in 1993 by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). In 1994, the world's first polyurethane condom for men was launched in the US. The 1990s also saw the introduction of colored and flavored condoms. Chip Evans, Ph.D. www.theevansgroupllc.com Page | 3
  4. 4. History of Condoms Present day In more recent years, improved technology has enabled the thickness of the condom to decrease. Also, condom manufacturers have recognized that one size of condom does not fit all. You can now find condoms that are different shapes, widths and lengths. As early as 1000 BCE, the ancient Egyptians used a linen sheath for protection against disease, while the Chinese are known to have used oiled silk paper. However, the oldest condoms ever found date back to 1640 and were excavated near Birmingham, England. They were made of fish and animal intestine. In 16th century Italy, Gabrielle Fallopius authored the first-known published description of prophylactic condom use. Fallopius conducted trials among 1,100 men using a sheath made of linen; none of the men became infected with syphilis. During this period, protection was also improved by soaking the cloth sheaths in a chemical solution and allowing them to dry prior to use Ñ the first use of a spermicide on condoms. The condom’s usefulness in preventing pregnancy was recognized in the 1700s. Condoms made out of animal intestines became widely available in Europe, but were costly and often reused. In 19th century Japan, the Japanese had condoms made from two other materials: one made of thin leather and the other of thin tortoise shells or horns. The mass-production of “rubbers” began after 1844 and the invention of vulcanization, a process that turns crude rubber into a strong elastic material. These were as thick as inner tubes, had a seam, and deteriorated rapidly. Latex manufacturing processes improved sufficiently in the 1930s to produce single-use condoms almost as thin and inexpensive as the ones used today. The reservoir tip on the latex condom was introduced in the early 1950s, textured condoms in 1973. In 1994, Polyurethane emerged as an alternative to latex, leading to the development of both male condoms for latex sensitive people and the female condom. In the 18th century, the famous womanizer, Casanova, wore condoms made of linen. Rubber condoms were mass-produced after 1844, when Charles Goodyear patented the vulcanization of rubber, which he invented five years earlier. Condoms made of sheep's intestines are still available. They are now disposable and should only be used once. In the 1940s and 50s, they were washed, slathered in petroleum jelly, and kept in little wooden boxes in a bedroom drawer-but they weren't talked about-in front of the kids, anyway. The American Social Hygiene Association fought hard to prohibit condom use in the early part of this century. Social hygienists believed that anyone who risked getting 'venereal' diseases should suffer the consequences, including American 'dough boys'-U.S. soldiers who fought in World War I. The American Expeditionary Forces, as our army was called, were the only armed forces in Europe during the war that was denied the use of condoms. It is not surprising that our troops had the highest rates of sexually transmitted infections of all; 70 percent of our 'boys' were just unable to 'just say 'no'.' The Secretary of the Navy was only one of many military leaders who believed that condom use was immoral and 'un Christian.' It was a young Assistant Secretary of the Navy, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, who, when his boss was away from the office, ordered the distribution of condoms to sailors. Chip Evans, Ph.D. www.theevansgroupllc.com Page | 4
  5. 5. History of Condoms One of the challenges that Margaret Sanger, the founder of Planned Parenthood, faced as she fought for women's right to use birth control was the double standard regarding condom use. Doctors were allowed to 'prescribe' condoms to protect men from syphilis and gonorrhea when they had pre-marital or extra-marital sexual intercourse. Women, however, could not get condoms to protect themselves from unintended pregnancy. Similarly, the Nazi government of Germany would not allow the use of condoms, or any other kind of birth control, by its citizens. They were expected to breed warriors to create a one-race world of 'Aryans.' But the Nazi military did allow soldiers to use condoms to keep them on the front lines instead of crowding their barracks nursing illnesses caused by syphilis and gonorrhea. By World War II, military leaders had a more realistic attitude about condoms. Concerned that 'our boys' would bring home diseases and infect their wives, they aggressively promoted the use of condoms. Government training films urged soldiers, “Don't forget-put it on before you put it in.” In fact, in 1942, condoms were issued to soldiers during the landing on Dunkirk. They were used to cover and protect rifle barrels from being damaged by salt water as the soldiers waded ashore. The sexual revolution of the 60s almost put an end to condom use. 'Good girls' were willing sex partners, so fewer men turned to professional sex workers, the most prevalent STIs-gonorrhea and syphilis-were easily treated, and the Pill and IUD provided the most effective reversible contraception the world had seen. When HIV, the virus that can cause AIDS, was identified, it became clear that condom use and safer sex could stem the epidemic. Many public health professionals believe that local, state, and federal governments behaved a lot like the social hygienists of the World War I generation as they continued to ignore or deny the need for public condom education. At this point in the epidemic, 25 percent of all HIV infections occur among teenagers-with rates increasing most quickly for teenage women. Yet most school districts still oppose condom distribution among students. There is an obvious need for a massive, public health condom education campaign. Yet major broadcasting companies typically refuse to air condom ads, and most school districts across the country not only refuse to distribute condoms, they also refuse to provide responsible, reality-based sexuality and AIDS education. Medical professionals and health advocates watch in dismay as history repeats itself, and the promotion of condom use remains a public health controversy. The female condom is a sleeve-like device made of polyurethane. It has a small closed end, and a larger open end. Each end contains a flexible ring. Use this simple step-by-step guide to using female condoms to assure that you are using them properly during vaginal and/or rectal intercourse. There are between 6 and 9 billion condoms used each year. Where do they come from and how are they made? For the last 70 years most of the condoms manufactured have been made with natural rubber latex and are manufactured mostly in Malaysia. Similar to the tapping of maple trees for syrup, rubber trees are tapped to extract liquid latex. Once the latex is treated with chemicals, it is ready to be used to for condom manufacturing. More chemicals are added to the latex in the compounding process, where the latex is put in large vats. During the compounding process, added to the raw natural latex are chemical preservatives, vulcanizes, and other compounding agents. The composition of the resulting latex determines the condom's strength, sensitivity and suppleness. The solution produced at this stage is then fed into other large vats. Chip Evans, Ph.D. www.theevansgroupllc.com Page | 5
  6. 6. History of Condoms Formers are glass molds which are dipped twice into the compounded liquid latex. In the dipping process, the condom shape is formed. After dipping is completed the condoms are dried in the drying ovens then sent to the leaching and stripping tanks. Leaching is the process that takes off the latex residue and odor. Next the condoms are washed and dried and covered in talc to remove any stickiness in the latex. This completes the primary production process. The condoms are then immersed in the powdering tank. In powdering a mixture of magnesium carbonate, corn starch, and anti-bacterial chemicals prevents the latex from sticking. After the condoms are made they need to be tested. There are two types of testing procedures conducted on the condoms. The dry electrical test is performed on every condom manufactured and plays an important role in the quality control process. An electric current is introduced through every single condom to test for pinholes and overall porosity. Any condom that does not pass the electrical test is discarded. The second type of testing is done in a factory laboratory. Five tests are performed on randomly-selected samples of condoms from each batch of condoms produced. These tests are called: air burst, water burst, aging and wet electrical. Vacuum testing is done on the packaging as well. These tests are performed on three-month, six-month and five-year and un-aged condoms. Once the condoms have been manufactured and tested, the final stage in the manufacturing process is foiling where condoms are lubricated and inserted into aluminum based packages. Final testing is performed on the packaged condoms before they are approved for shipping. Prior to shipping condoms are stored in a temperature-controlled environment. Chip Evans, Ph.D. www.theevansgroupllc.com Page | 6