The Dittrick Medical History Center’s 2019 Percy Skuy Lecture will feature a talk by Jessica Borge, a postdoctoral researcher at Université de Strasbourg who focuses on historic British contraception. The lecture, titled “London Rubber—Trials and Tribulations,” will be held Thursday, May 2, at 6 p.m. in the Allen Memorial Medical Library’s Powell Room.
The London Rubber Company (LRC) was Great Britain’s biggest producer and exporter of disposable rubber condoms in the post-war period. But for LRC, the condom monopoly was not enough. Buoyed by the success of Durex and other house brands, LRC pursued domination in the burgeoning women’s market.
However, when oral contraceptives came along in the 1960s, LRC was caught in a bind between defending condoms against the new cultural domination of the pill and claiming a segment of the pharmaceutical birth control market for itself.