Getting It On: The Covert History of the American Condom By Hunter Oatman-Stanford | A Cultural History of Advertising |

Contraceptives are quite the messy subject: throughout history, people used everything from seaweed to sheep intestines in order to prevent pregnancy. In the United States, condoms were first outlawed in 1873, and it wasn’t until World War II that we finally embraced them as the pleasure devices they really are. Thanks to Uncle Sam, American troops were given condoms to keep them healthy while enjoying the action overseas, so to speak. So how did the condom go from contraband to federally-issued necessity without anyone ever talking about sex?