6 Nov: Creating The At-Home Pregnancy Test

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In today’s episode we explore the incredible history of the at-home pregnancy test, first made available to British women on 6th November, 1971. Although not at Boot’s.

Created by Margaret Crane, a graphic designer for New Jersey pharmaceutical company Organon, the test revolutionised the process of pregnancy detection, which had previously required a clinician to send samples to a laboratory – an exercise that could take up to a fortnight.

In this episode, Arion, Rebecca and Olly learn how the ancient Egyptians were years ahead when it came to urine samples; explain why ‘the rabbit died’ had become the accepted euphemism for being up the duff; and watch old episodes of ‘The Dick Van Dyke Show’ and ‘Hill St Blues’ for their research (well, ok, that’s just Rebecca)… 

Further Reading:

• ‘History of the Home Pregnancy Test’ (The Atlantic, 2015): https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2015/06/history-home-pregnancy-test/396077/

• ‘The Unknown Designer of the First Home Pregnancy Test Is Finally Getting Her Due’ (Smithsonian Magazine, 2015): https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smithsonian-institution/unknown-designer-first-home-pregnancy-test-getting-her-due-180956684/

• ‘”Get dressed…. Dad” – Home Response TV Commercial’ (1987): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CWLZC0q3isk