Antique condom tins of various brands, as sold by Druggists in the earlier 20th century.
Several tins feature Orientalist images, which were popular at the turn of the century, and well into the 1920’s and 1930’s. With the rise of western imperialism into the east, images of the exotic “Orient” began to haunt the popular imagination of the western world. These images were imports of returning business men, explorers, imperialists, and soldiers. They were images of a sexualized ‘other’, a result of their distorted reports of harems and sexual slavery. This brought some of the connection seen here between birth control and the prevention of venereal disease, and ‘the Orient,’ though not all. Another connection came from the high rate of venereal disease among returning soldiers (some deployed on the eastern front) during WWI. The problem was not just one of those deployed on the eastern front though, but for soldiers across the board. However, ‘the Orient’ symbolized the ‘other’ that one encountered when away from home, and so the actual location of the soldier’s deployment made little difference for the symbolic connection.
More about the history of condoms can be found here.