Tuberculosis pioneer. Best-selling author. Convert to Catholicism. Enemy of eugenics, and eugenicists.
This object was at the centre of the so-called Birth Control Libel Trial between Marie Stopes and Halliday Sutherland of 1923: The rubber cervical cap was supplied at cost, and fitted free of charge, at Dr. Marie Stopes’ Holloway clinic.
The high-domed cap was designed by Stopes herself (based on a French design) and was manufactured by John Bell Croyden Ltd. The “Pro-Race” brand was Stopes own brand, reflecting her eugenic beliefs and the purpose underlying the establishment of her free birth-control clinic in Holloway in 1921.
Stopes’ biographers have tended to play down the eugenic aspects of her birth-control campaign, or simply don’t mention it at all. The cap, with its “Pro-Race” banner printed clearly across the top of the dome means that linking eugenics and Stopes’ birth control campaign is not an academic argument; It is a fact.
Thanks to the Science and Society Picture Library for permitting the use of this photograph (http://www.scienceandsociety.co.uk/results.asp?image=10648812).