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The Condoms Intriguing History, When Were Condoms Invented?

by RipNRoll Condoms April 22, 2019

Condoms History, When Were Condoms Invented?


Below is a brief bounce thru history of those little latex wonders called condoms. Condoms have come a long way in the last 3000 years and there are many things you probably did not know about the evolution of the condoms and what went into the creation of those life savers you see on the store shelves today. Hmmm, I wonder if they used condoms in the Medieval Times. Did Knights use condoms? Were there condoms before Jesus?

Pull up a chair, get your cup of coffee or pop open a beer cause we're about to dive deep into the land of Rubbers....condoms that is.

When was the Invention of the condom?

The condom is one of the oldest forms of contraception. Its history and use can be traced back thousands of years. It is believed that a form of modern-day condoms were first used by the Egyptians as far back as 1,000 B.C.

The early condom years, 100-200 AD

The earliest evidence of condom use in Europe are scenes from cave paintings at Combarelles in France. Dated 100 to 200 AD.

First Published Condom Use

The first known published description and trials regarding prophylactic condom use were recorded by the Italian Gabrielle Fallopius in the 1500's. He claimed to have invented a sheath made of linen and conducted trials amongst 1,100 men using the condom - none of who became infected with syphilis.

Origin of the word Condom

The origin of the word 'condom' is still unknown. Folklore attributes the invention to Dr. Condom or Conton, who was at the court of King Charles II in the 1600's. It is more likely, however, that the name derives from the Latin 'condus', meaning receptacle.

The 1700's

The condom, made of animal gut, became well known and increased in popularity in the 1700's. Literature of that time suggests that the condom's contraceptive (rather than just prophylactic) properties had already been realized.

In 1774 The infamous Giacomo Casanova wrote about his method of testing condoms in his memoir, detail how he would blow them up to test for holes and tears.

By 1766 many shops were producing handbills and advertisements.

Japanese are known to have used two types of condom. The 'Kawagata' or 'Kyotai' was made of thin leather and the 'Kabutogata' was made from tortoiseshell or horn.

Condoms in the 19th Century 1801-1900

Documentation also suggests that legendary 19th Century lover Casanova was a regular user of this type of contraception. He referred to condoms as 'Redingote Anglaise' (English Riding Coat).

The First Rubber Condoms...The rubber condom was developed shortly after the creation of vulcanized rubber in the 1840's, by Goodyear and Hancock. Vulcanization is the method or process of treating crude rubber with sulfur and subjecting it to intense heat. This process turns the rubber into a strong elastic material.

The First Condom Advertisement

In 1861, The first U.S. condom ad appeared in the New York Times newspaper. The ad was met with mixed reviews.

1930's A new History begins - Condoms now made of Latex, Rubber falls from grace

In the 1930's liquid latex manufacturing superseded crepe rubber. It is still the basis for manufacturers today. The process was less messy, less smelly and a much more controllable process in terms of quality control.

1980s HIV and AIDS, Condoms go mainstream

A once taboo and embarrassing  subject, condoms were forbidden from being advertised on television, but once the HIV and AIDS scare took hold, condoms were thrust into the mainstream media. With so many people dying and contracting the disease including many notable stars, World Health Experts agreed that condoms were the best way short of abstinence to avoid HIV.

1990s and New Condom Styles Flood the market

In the 1990's new technology considerably improved the condom and enabled the production of far more sophisticated versions. There were now flavored condoms and even glow in the dark condoms along with various other shapes, sizes and textures

The Turn of the Century brings new latex Materials

Now in the new millennium a new condom revolution is making record waves in the history of the condom and the condoms future is looking brighter than ever.

In the 2000's New latex materials like Polyurethane and Polyisoprene as well as crazy new shapes and sizes continue to solidify the condoms stronghold in today's culture. 

2013 Bill Gates offers $1,000,000 for new condoms

Bill Gates says New condoms made from beef tendon may be the next big thing...This story first appeared on the New Republic

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation announced it was disbursing $1 million in grants for a next-generation condom that does the job without the perceived pleasure trade-off. The challenge of which sparked media attention and brought focus to some of the more groundbreaking designs, including a type that will "shrink wrap" to fit the penis and a graphene-based model reported to be 100 times stronger than steel.

For more than 3000 years now the Condom still plays a vital role in birth control and protection

People today are much more comfortable buying condoms and the stigma of old is practically gone. With the introduction of HIV and the AIDS Virus, condoms in today's society are a much needed necessity. Condoms have come a long way from their beginnings over 3000 years ago and that's a fact!


Fun Fact - What was the Oldest Condom Ever Found

Answer - Although condoms date back much farther than this; The Oldest condoms ever found were dated around the 1640's and were made of animal and fish intestines. 


the Oldest condoms ever found


Article Sources
Winfield, N. "Pope Francis doesn't want to talk about HIV and condoms." Business Insider, November 30, 2015.
Isaacson, A. "Coming Soon to Your Bedroom: Beef-Tendon Condoms" The New Republic, November 20. 2103
Donadio, R. and Goodstein, L. "After Condom Remarks, Vatican Confirms Shift." New York Times; November 23, 2010.
Khan, L. Mukhtar, S.; Dickinson, I.; et al. "The story of the condom." Ind J Urology. 2013; 29(1): 12-15.


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