Four small boxes were among the items I decided not to throw in the dumpster as we cleaned out the family home.  Each box stores twelve empty glass vials.  Scraps of wallpaper and colored photos of flowers cut from magazines decorate the outside of the boxes.  I thought them odd.

Four Decorated Boxes of Zonitors

What was the reason my mother had saved them?  Clearly, they were from the 50’s.  The wallpaper had come loose at the corners and I was able to pull it back a bit to see the label on the box… “Zonitors ….. Vaginal Suppositories”.  Hmmmmmm.

The wallpaper was not familiar.  It had never been adhered to any of the walls in the house in Martinsville.  Had my mother attended a women’s craft session where they brought their boxes of Zonitors and disguised them by gluing decorative papers over the label that announced their purpose to everyone who might visit the bathroom?  And why did my mother keep these little decorated boxes and the glass vials?  She didn’t keep the rubber stoppers that kept the moisture from dissolving the little pellets inside the white suppository packaged within the glass vial.

The purpose of the glass vials would still be a mystery to me if it weren’t for the internet and the power of search engines.  Zonitor suppositories are a product developed in the late 40’s and sold extensively throughout the 50’s.  The advertising was directed, I believe, at newlyweds.  Without a supply of Zonitor, one’s marriage might fail.

Six people lived together in the house in Martinsville.  It was a small house, yet large enough to hide so many secrets.

sketchbook drawing: Family Treasures, No 39 – Zonitors – drawn first with fountain pen followed by watercolor

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