306 Pages, 6 x 9
57 photos, 22 tables
ISBN 9780228003335
September 2020
Formats: Cloth, eBook

Buy the print book HERE

Protective Practices : A History of the London Rubber Company and the Condom Business is a new book on the History of Durex by Jessica Borge. It is published by McGill Queens University Press. 

It is the first scholarly, full length study on the London Rubber Company, the original maker of Durex condoms and other useful dipped rubber goods such as contraceptive diaphragms, household gloves and toy balloons.


“Protective Practices is a wonderfully rich eye-opening book about the British condom business, a tale of automated production, monopoly profits, near full-spectrum dominance of contraceptive techniques and complex corporate skulduggery.  In its pages the history of the secretive London Rubber Company is evocatively brought to life to create an unusually satisfying business and medical history.” David Edgerton, Centre for the History of Science, Technology and Medicine, King’s College London

“Protective Practices is a must-read for anyone interested in the intertwined histories of contraception, technology, and the personal-product business.” Donna J. Drucker, author of Contraception: A Concise History

“This deeply researched and engagingly written study of the London Rubber Company not only tells the fascinating story of a significant and dynamic business, it also shines fresh light on the changing sexual culture of twentieth-century Britain. This is highly recommended for anyone interested in the production, advertising and retailing of that controversial and sought-after item: the condom.” Adrian Bingham, University of Sheffield

"This empirically rich, deftly researched, and intriguing survey of the commercial and cultural aspects of the trade in protectives, through the lens of the London Rubber Company, offers a pathbreaking account of the evolution of male contraceptives in twentieth-century Britain.” Alana Harris, senior lecturer in Modern British History, King's College London

IMAGE:  Electronic testing, 1950s. © Vestry House Museum, London Borough of Waltham Forest.

Durex is a trademark of Reckitt Benckiser group of companies. The author has received no corporate funding in the research, production or promotion of this book.