Posts tagged with contraception

Ettie Rout: safer sex campaigner

Passport photograph of Ettie Rout, 1918.

Guest blogger Dame Margaret Sparrow writes about safer sex campaigner Ettie Rout: ‘One hundred years ago on 20 October 1915 twelve Volunteer Sisters gathered at Parliament Buildings to sign their Sisterhood Pledge and sailed off to Egypt the following day. The Volunteer Sisters were a band of women organised by Ettie Rout of Christchurch to… Read more »

Today is World Contraception Day!

Display case with one contraceptive pill stating 'the pill that changed the world' against a backdrop of visitors' comments 'Let's talk about sex'

World Contraception Day aims to improve awareness and access to the many contraceptive methods available, and to help people make informed choices about their sexual and reproductive health. Contraception: Uncovering the collection of Dame Margaret Sparrow is an exhibition at Te Papa which features just about every contraceptive device you can think of, from the… Read more »

Condoms in the trolley

Supermarket, Devonport, Auckland, 1977, by John Daley. Gift of John Daley, 2012.  © Te Papa (O.038942)

Does anyone remember having to go into a pharmacy and ask for condoms? 30 years ago today saw a massive change in how New Zealanders bought condoms – for the first time they became available on supermarket shelves. Until 1985, condoms were bought mainly from chemist shops. Boxes were either on display or customers had… Read more »

Coca-Cola celebrates centenary of the curvaceous Coke bottle

Coca-Cola bottle top

Dame Margaret Sparrow writes about the Coca-Cola bottle top on display in Te Papa’s exhibition Contraception: Uncovering the collection of Dame Margaret Sparrow (Illott Room, level 4). The Coca-Cola flavour was introduced by an American pharmacist in 1886 and sold in bottles from 1894. In 1915 a competition was held for a distinctive bottle which… Read more »

Pills, coils and condoms!


Since the beginning of time humankind has sought ingenious methods in an attempt to control fertility. This exhibition in the Ilot Room on Level 4 of Te Papa reveals a wide range of contraceptive devices and stories from the recently acquired collection of Dame Margaret Sparrow, one of New Zealand’s leading specialists and advocates on… Read more »

September 1954: This month last century

57 years ago the Mazengarb report is released (20 September 1954) In 1954, several shocking events occurred that fuelled a simmering panic about the activities and morals of New Zealand teenagers. These included revelations that some Hutt Valley teens were having sex. Over 50 local teenagers were observed congregating at elbe’s milk bar in Lower Hutt. There… Read more »