"Paragon" re-usable rubber condom, medium size, in original box with instructions, by Georges (Chemists) Ltd., London, c.1948
‘George’s seamless paragon sheath’ is a re-usable medium-sized rubber condom in its original box, which contains directions for its use and maintenance. It was originally made of ‘soft pliable rubber’, that over time has become brittle and fragile. A ‘rubber’ became a common slang name for condoms, which are worn over the penis to prevent pregnancy and sexual disease transmission.
This condom was made and sold by Georges Chemists, based in London, England. The box describes the condom’s major selling point - it was made in one piece without a join or seam, reducing the risk of it splitting during use. It also claimed the condom would not harden during cold weather.
This condom was designed to be re-used multiple times. At this time re-usable sheaths provided an economical alternative to single-use condoms and could last for months if maintained with appropriate care. Instructions inside the box describe how the condom was to be used with ‘Preventif’ spermicidal compound a lubricant to reduce breakage and reduce the risk of pregnancy. After use, the condom would be washed inside and out with water, dried, and sprinkled inside and out with Preserving Power to help preserve the rubber and stop it from becoming sticky.
The box also notes that a Catalogue of Contraceptive goods could be requested from the chemist, which would be sent with a plain cover. This was to avoid notice or embarrassment, as sex and birth control were considered taboo at the time.