Wrapping it up: The History of Condoms is Nothing You’d Expect

The history of condoms goes back at least several centuries back and perhaps beyond that. Condoms have been used both as a method of birth control, and as a protective measure against sexually transmitted diseases. Condoms have been made from a variety of materials; prior to the 19th century, chemically treated linen and animal tissue (intestine or bladder) are the best documented varieties. Rubber condoms gained popularity in the mid-19th century, and in the early 20th century major advances were made in manufacturing techniques.

  1. 15000 B.C

The history of condom dates back to 15000 B.C. This might be a fact for many but the oldest known image of a sheathed penis is evident from the cave paintings which date back to 15000 B.C.


During the Roman Empire, the first documented condoms were hand-sewn pieces of linen that fit over either the entire penis, just the tip or into the urethra. The loincloths worn by Egyptian and Greek labourers were very spare, sometimes consisting of little more than a covering for the glans of the penis. Records of these types of loincloths being worn by men in higher classes have made some historians speculate they were worn during intercourse.

3. 1400-1700

In the Asia the people of higher class or basically the aristocrat people were using glans condoms, which covered only the head of the penis. They were made of oiled paper, intestine, animal horn or from the shell of tortoise. During the Renaissance, condoms were primarily made out of linen, goat intestines and gall bladder of goat.

This condom is made from the intestine of pig which dates back to the 14th century.  These are basically the glans-only condoms made of oiled silk paper, lamb intestines, tortoiseshell or animal horn in China and Japan in the 14th Century.

4. 1855

The first rubber condom was produced in the year 1855. This new material was a major shift towards a more reliable method of contraceptives. The major demerit of these condoms was that they were as thick as bicycle inner tubes. Some condoms were also produced in late 19th century around 1897 which had Queen Victoria’s face printed on them as her children had sexually transmitted diseases.

5. 1918

Condoms began to be publicly, legally sold to Americans for the first time since Comstock Act of 1873.


The snap depicts the first ever condom advertisement in the year 1918.

6. 1920

The Young’s Rubber Company manufactured the first latex condom with the hopes of providing people a more natural feeling option.

7. 1957

The first lubricated condom was manufactured in the year 1957 in UK.

8. 1990s

As condoms continued to be adopted as a necessity, the condom manufacturers began producing flavoured, coloured and textured styles of condoms.

9. 2000s to till date

In the first major advancement for condoms since the invention of latex, the makers of LifeStyles introduced their SKYN brand the first clinically-approved polyisoprene condom. It’s the closest thing to wear nothing.

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