First use of some form of condoms can be traced back several thousand years back in history. It is known that even the ancient Egyptians around 1000 BC used a linen cloth in the form similar to condom to protect themselves against disease.
The earliest evidence of condom use in Europe comes from the cave drawings in Les Combarelles, France.
1500s- the sixteenth century
The first known published record, which is the description and study of condom use as a prophylactic, was recorded in Italy. Gabrielle Fallopius claimed that he is the inventor of linen protection cover for the penis and that he conducted the research in 1100 men who used this protection. None of the 1,100 men were infected with syphilis. Having recognized the usefulness of condoms in protecting against infection, it was only later understood contraceptive role of condoms in preventing pregnancy.
In the sixteenth century first condom improvements were made when the first flax fabric was soaked in a chemical solution and dried before use – that was the first spermicidal condom.
Condoms made from animal intestines appeared in use. However, they were quite expensive which had the unfortunate result in reusing them – a condom was used several times. This type of condom was described at that time as “armor against pleasure, a cobweb against infection”.
Goodyear and Hancock began to mass-produce condoms made from vulcanized rubber. Vulcanization is a process that translates the raw rubber into a strong and resilient material.
First ad for condoms appeared in U.S. newspapers when The New York Times published an ad for ‘Dr. Power’s French Preventatives’.
The Comstock’s law was adopted, named after Anthony Comstock. This law made any kind of birth control advertising illegal and also allowed the postal service to confiscate condoms sold by mail.
The first latex condom was produced although latex condoms become widely available only until the thirties years of the twentieth century. By 1935 1.5 million condoms were being produced each day in the United States. Latex is made from the juice of the tree that grows mainly in Asia and Brazil.
80’s and 90’s of XX century
80’s, condoms were produced by few producers, mostly from the United States. In 1987 Japanese Kimono brand became available to consumers. These condoms were thin and well lubricated and in commercials pleasure was emphasized rather than protection.
In 90’s began the mass production of various types of condoms and also during those years the first polyurethane condom was produced.
By 1993 the annual production of natural latex condoms has reached a figure of 8.5 billion.