Sunday, 5 January 2014

The History of Condoms

The History of Condoms

The origin of the condom is debatable. Historians and archaeologists are still working to determine whether condoms were used in ancient Egypt and Rome. There is some evidence that the ancient Egyptians used a linen sheath at around 1000 BC.

In the 1500s, it was the Syphilis epidemic that caused condoms to be first written about. Gabrielle Fallopius wrote a medical treatise on protection against syphilis. He described a linen sheath that was used to cover the penis in order to prevent spread of the disease. These linen sheaths covered only the tip of the penis and were tied on with a ribbon. It was only later that these early condoms were shown to prevent pregnancy and they were eventually soaked in chemical solutions that acted as spermicide.

The 1600s saw advancement in the form of condoms made from animal intestines. They were expensive and because of this they were often reused. Condoms made from lamb intestine are still available on the market today, mostly for use by those allergic to latex and polyurethane.

Fortunately, the other form of condoms from the 1600s is no longer in use. Fine Leather condoms were sold to Japan by the Dutch at this time. They were probably the first condoms that covered the entire penis.

In the second half of the 1700s, custom condoms were handmade in shops all over London. Despite protest from the church that followed the condom from its invention to modern times, popularity and condom sales continued to grow though mostly among the middle and upper classes.

Condoms took a great leap forward in the 1800s with the vulcanization process that turned rubber into strong elastic. Unfortunately for those interested in the advanced material, the Comstock Law was passed in 1873 that made advertising birth control illegal. Condoms were confiscated when mailed through the postal service.

It wasnt until 1919 that Frederick Killian first started molding condoms from latex. In perhaps the most surprising delay in condom development, it was 58 years before the first lubricated condoms were manufactured. And in 1994, the first polyurethane condom was launched in the US.

Today, custom condoms come in all shapes and sizes and the thickness continues to decrease as technology improves. Men can now find the right choice for them, and even buy condoms online.

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