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Dr Williams’ Pink Pills for Pale People and the hybrid pathways of Chinese modernity
Alice Tsay

while evoking a familiar psychical world for their Chinese consumers. Taking the extensive history of the pills into account thus complicates the accepted narrative of advertising as the major driving force of urban modernity in Shanghai and offers a more nuanced account of the way hybridity – not only cultural, but also temporal – was strategically mobilised to articulate a distinctly Chinese vision of twentieth-century society. 4 Studies of advertising content in this historical

in Progress and pathology
Contraception and commerce in Britain before the sexual revolution

The Business of Birth Control uncovers the significance of contraceptives as commodities in Britain before the Pill. Drawing on neglected promotional and commercial material, the book demonstrates how hundreds of companies transformed condoms and rubber and chemical pessaries into branded consumer goods that became widely available via birth control clinics, chemists’ shops and vending machines, and were discreetly advertised in various forms of print. With its focus on the interwar period, the book demonstrates how contraceptive commodification shaped sexual and birth control knowledge and practice at a time when older, more restrictive moral values surrounding sexuality uncomfortably co-existed with a modern vision of the future premised on stability wrought by science, medicine and technology. Commodification was a contested process that came into conflict with attempts by the State, doctors and the birth control movement to medicalise birth control, and by social purity groups that sought to censor the trade in order to uphold their prescribed standards of sexual morality and maintain sexual ignorance among much of the population. Of wide interest to modern historians, the book not only serves as an important reminder that businesses were integral to shaping medical, economic, social and cultural attitudes towards sex and birth control but also sheds greater light on the ambiguities, tensions and struggles of interwar Britain more broadly. Without such interwar struggles, the contraceptive Pill may not have received its revolutionary status.

Pratik Chakrabarti

arrived in Madras, his pills were analysed by British surgeons and its ingredients were listed. The focus shifted from the efficacy of the pills to its ingredients. William Duffin and another surgeons reported to the Hospital Board, that although the repeated trials were successful in curing snakebites, some of the ingredients raised questions, but in the absence of any other remedy, they recommended the Government ‘to leave every practitioner to administer remedies, as his own judgement may direct as heretofore in cases of

in Materials and medicine
Abstract only
Claire L. Jones

, from Brazil to Madras. 5 Further incorporation of the commercial perspective into birth control history also has the potential to enhance our understanding of subsequent changes in contraceptive supply and birth control behaviour. Negotiations over contraceptive availability continued into the arguably more socially conservative era of the 1950s, but the contradictions of the interwar period were not resolved by the introduction of the Pill in 1961 and its availability to the unmarried from 1968. Most historical studies of the Pill have emphasised that its tablet

in The business of birth control
Ciara Meehan

method. 21 Women could thus find themselves pregnant, but incapable of physically coping with another pregnancy or unable to financially accommodate another child. Tradition was broken for many couples marrying in the 1960s; family sizes were smaller, and Dorine Rohan, in her contemporary survey of Irish society, claimed that many people believed four children to be the ideal family size. 22 With the arrival of the pill, as we saw in Chapter 2 , many

in A woman’s place?
Ensuring adolescent knowledge and access to healthcare in the age of Gillick
Hannah J.  Elizabeth

was putting her under-age daughters on the Pill. 28 In an oft-quoted 1984 High Court statement in explanation of his position, Woolf emphasised the agency of the child rather than the parent, and began to define what would later be known as ‘Gillick competence’. He explained: whether or not a child is capable of giving the necessary consent will depend on the child’s maturity and understanding and the nature of the consent required. The child must be

in Posters, protests, and prescriptions
Ciara Meehan

, which first discussed the pill in June 1968, took the approach more common in Europe. An explainer, compiled by Dolores Rockett, the then advice columnist, focused on risks. 40 One of McEnroy's earliest pieces for Woman's Way pointed out that an unofficial two-tier healthcare system, built on a principle of geographical inequality, was developing in the country. 41 Some sympathetic doctors were willing to make the pill available

in A woman’s place?
Abstract only
Contraceptive commercialisation before the Pill
Claire L. Jones

distribution. But in characterising contraceptives before the Pill as technologies representing sexual taboo or liberation, smaller or larger families, pregnancy or non-pregnancy, and efficacy or failure, historians have commonly overlooked the meanings of these objects as goods in the marketplace. Commercial meanings have, however, been a relatively recent historiographic omission. Reflective of their own time of post-war affluence, mass consumerism and the widespread availability of contraceptives in ‘the permissive society’, historians of the 1960s and 1970s highlighted

in The business of birth control
Clement Masakure

the nursing leadership did not alter this view. As Nzenza illustrated, ‘They all wanted to be the first to discover a pregnant student nurse. Pregnancy meant immediate dismissal. The matron even went to the extent of going to the nearest Family Planning Centre to find out which student nurse was registered on the pill.’ 48 It is possible that the yearly average of pregnancy among nursing students was high during the colonial period. Nursing students used various coping strategies to assert their independence. Interviews suggested the prevalence of sneaking out and

in African nurses and everyday work in twentieth-century Zimbabwe
Michael Worboys

Pharmacist-historians have followed the lead of the British Medical Association's (BMA) exposés of ‘Secret Remedies’ in the 1900s, in disparaging the man and his medicines. The pills were revealed to be mostly composed of ineffectual ingredients: aloes, powdered ginger and soap. 59 Edwardian doctors often wrote of public gullibility in repeat purchases of such concoctions, though as Harvey Young presumed, much of their efficacy and market success must be due to placebo effects. 60

in Patient voices in Britain, 1840–1948