The History of Condoms
Condoms have been around for a very long time, probably longer than you would have expected. Here's a brief summary of the history of condoms.
1000 B.C. - Condom use can be traced back several thousand years. Images from around 1000 BC show the ancient Egyptians wearing linen sheathes. Itís still being debated whether they wore these condom-like sheathes for protection or for ritual.
100-200 A.D. - The earliest evidence of condom use in Europe comes from scenes in cave paintings at Combarelles in France.
1500s - In Italy, research by Gabrielle Fallopius found the linen sheath useful for prevention of infection, and later discovered its usefulness for the prevention of pregnancy.
1700s - The naming of the condom is a bit of a mystery. Some believe it was named for "Dr. Condom," who supplied King Charles II of England with animal tissue sheaths. Others believe the name came from a "Dr. Condon" or "Colonel Cundum." Most likely it came from the Latin word "condom," which means "receptacle."
1844 - Goodyear and Hancock began to mass-produce condoms made out of vulcanized rubber, which is a stronger and more elastic material.
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."
1873 - The Comstock Law was passed. It prohibited the advertising of any sort of birth control, and it also allowed the postal service to confiscate condoms sold through the mail.
1880s - The first latex condom was produced, although it was to be the 1930s before these were in widespread use.
Early 1900s - Social hygienists fought to prohibit the use of condoms by Americans, resulting in U.S. troops in World War I having the highest rate of STDs ó over 70%! By World War II, a more realistic attitude had emerged and the government aggressively promoted the use of condoms.
1960s - The sexual revolution of the '60s resulted in a decline in condom use as more and more youth practiced free love ó without condom usage.
1980s - HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, was identified, and the Surgeon General stated that other than abstinence, the most effective way to protect against HIV is to use a latex condom each and every time you have sex.
1990s - The 1990s saw the introduction of a large number of different types of condoms, including colored condoms, ribbed condoms, studded condoms, flavored condoms, glow-in-the-dark condoms, and large condoms, as well as the first polyurethane condom.