The History Of The American Condom

January 6, 2013 in Daily Bulletin

Peter Andreas outlined the history of condoms in America – and in the process illustrated basic economic principles such as the consequences of prohibition and protectionism:

  • Until the 1850s condoms were made from animal intestines and imported from Europe – making them too expensive for Americans. This changed when rubber condoms came along.
  • Around 1873 the import and sale of condoms was banned. This led to a thriving domestic black market that jump-started the American condom industry.
  • The condom ban would begin to end during World War One when sexually transmitted disease became a real security threat. Condoms were given unofficial approval and were sold in government-run canteens.
  • The soldiers that returned from the war were now familiar with condom usage leading to their widespread adoption.
  • Even then it took until 1971 for all anti-condom laws to be taken off the books.

Read more about the history of the condom, one man’s doomed efforts to ban them, and how Trojan condoms got their start over here.

Source: Slate