Rubber cervical cap, c 1920s.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
'Racial' brand, size 2 contraceptive cap, made by BCM, supplied by the Mothers's Clinic and modified by Marie Stopes. Stopes (1880-1958) studied in London and Munich, graduating with a degree in botany in 1901, and becoming the youngest female doctor of science in 1904. However, she is best remembered as a feminist and pioneer advocate of birth control. Alarmed by the lack of equality within the marriage relationship, Stopes wrote 'Married Love' (1916), a book about feminism and marriage. This was followed by a guide to contraception 'Wise Parenthood' (1918). In 1921, in the face of opposition from the Church, Stopes founded the Society for Constructive Birth Control and opened the first of her birth-control clinics in Holloway, North London.