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Shadow's rubber prophylactic tin

Date: c 1942
Overall: 42 x 55 mm
Medium: Tin
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Purchased with USA Bicentennial Gift funds
Classification:Tools and equipment
Object Name: Container
Object No: 00009361
Place Manufactured:United States

User Terms

    This 'Shadow's' rubber prophylactic tin was manufactured by Young's Rubber Corporation Inc. Youngs prophylactics were issued by the United States military to the armed forces during World War II.
    SignificanceThis tin is an example of the type of prophylactics issued by the United States military during World War II.
    HistoryThe use of prophylactics, or condoms, among soldiers was first promoted during the late 19th century by the German military. By the early 20th century the American military had become aware that providing soldiers with condoms reduced the rates of sexually transmitted diseases (STD). However throughout World War I, neither the United States nor Britain provided or promoted condom use to their soldiers, instead promoting abstinence amongst soldiers. By the end of the war, a record high 400,000 cases of sexually transmitted diseases were diagnosed amongst American soldiers.

    Prior to the start of World War I, Germany was the main exporter of condoms to Europe, Australia, Canada and New Zealand. The invention of latex in 1920 and the production of the first latex condom by the American manufacturer Youngs Rubber Company saw an American company export the first latex condom to Europe in 1929. During World War 1 the American prophylactic manufacturers Schmid Laboratories and Youngs Rubber Company became the main exporters of condoms to the European Allies.

    From 1927 condom distribution and education programs were promoted to members of the army and navy and by 1931 condoms were standard issue to male members of the United States military. During the Second World War, the use of condoms was promoted with lectures, films and posters. America's female military units however were instead subjected to abstinence programs; and African-American soldiers who lived in segregated units did not receive the same level of condom use promotion, resulting in high levels of sexually transmitted diseases amongst these groups.

    Following World War II American troops in Germany were still being issued with condoms and associated promotional material. However a more casual and relaxed attitude toward sexually transmitted diseases and the use of condoms began to emerge both amongst soldiers and the American population during the late 1940s which saw an increase again in STD rates. This led the United States military to again promote abstinence as the only method of disease control from 1947 onwards and throughout the Vietnam War. Prophylactic sales however continued to grow due to an increased reliance on condoms for birth control from 1955 onwards.
    Additional Titles

    Web title: Shadow's rubber prophylactic tin

    Primary title: Shadow's Rubber Prophylactic tin for condoms 00009362

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