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Under the Covers? Commerce, Contraceptives and Consumers in England and Wales, 1880–1960

Jones, Claire L. (2016) Under the Covers? Commerce, Contraceptives and Consumers in England and Wales, 1880–1960. Social History of Medicine, 29 (4). pp. 734-756. ISSN 0951-631X. (doi:10.1093/shm/hkv059)

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Abstract

This article provides a much needed commercial perspective to the gradual growth in consumption of birth control appliances in England and Wales between 1880 and 1960. By drawing on underutilized parliamentary sources and the hitherto neglected business records of manufacturers, vendors and distributors, this new approach reveals that consumption patterns were more varied in terms of class, gender and geographical location than scholars have generally recognized. In particular, its analysis of the production, promotion and distribution of birth control appliances alongside medical goods intended for domestic use during this period demonstrates the importance of consumption both among and beyond the primary married couple of the household. In doing so, this article aims to provide the medical historian with a new analytic tool for investigating neglected but potentially important sites of medical decision making.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1093/shm/hkv059
Uncontrolled keywords: contraception, birth control, commerce, industry, household, consumption
Subjects: D History General and Old World
Divisions: Faculties > Humanities > School of History
Depositing User: M.R.L. Hurst
Date Deposited: 05 Jan 2017 14:20 UTC
Last Modified: 06 Feb 2020 16:26 UTC
Resource URI: https://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/59786 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
Jones, Claire L.: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-3228-3987
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