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A Thin Blue Line

The History of the Pregnancy Test


Am I pregnant? The answer to this age-old question once demanded a combination of guesswork, intuition, and time. In 1978, however, the long wait to know for sure became a thing of the past. Trumpeted by advertisements as “a private little revolution,” the first home pregnancy tests started appearing on drug store shelves that year. A quarter of a century later, innovations promise to make even the telltale thin blue line obsolete. This web site looks at the history of the home pregnancy test—one of the most ubiquitous home healthcare products in America—and examines its place in our culture.