Birth Control Box
A Missouri resident recently inherited a number of items that had been in her family for over 130 years, including an unusual wooden box.
The label affixed to the inside of the box contained the date 1894 and language that suggested the box once contained a birth control device.
But on March 3, 1873, a law was passed in a late-night session of Congress banning the sale and distribution of contraceptive devices, which many considered to be the tools of immorality.
In the late 19th century, for every 1,000 pregnancies, seven women died during childbirth. So a woman wishing to avoid pregnancy is left with few options. What could she do?
If this is indeed true, how would a family in remote, rural Missouri obtain such a device, during a time when such items were banned and considered lewd and immoral?
History Detectives picks up the case in Missouri, with a story that just may change the way we think about the history of family planning in America.
- Also with Tukufu Zuberi Pop Lloyd Baseball Field Why was this baseball field named after an African-American ballplayer in a time of racial tension?
- Also with Elyse Luray Highlander Badge Could an amateur treasure diver really have found a possible Revolutionary War artifact?
- Also with Tukufu Zuberi Birthplace Of Hip Hop Did this Bronx apartment building give birth to a culture that now spans the globe?
- Also in Emerging Modern America: 1890-1930 Nora Holt Autograph Book Why did this Harlem Renaissance luminary own a book filled with U.S. Presidents' signatures?
- Also in Season 3 Civil War Balloon Could this piece of frayed material be from the country's first military airship?
- Also in Emerging Modern America: 1890-1930 Bootlegger's Notebook Does this book belong to a Prohibition era bootlegger?
This is a place for opinions, comments, questions and discussion; a place where viewers of History Detectives can express their points of view and connect with others who value history. We ask that posters be polite and respectful of all opinions. History Detectives reserves the right to delete comments that don’t conform to this conduct. We will not respond to every post, but will do our best to answer specific questions, or address an error.