For many people, the word Trojan is synonymous to strength and durability. After all, this is what the real Trojans displayed in the past during the Trojan War. Perhaps, this is what founder Merle Leland Youngs originally had in mind when he came up with a name for his brand of condoms. Youngs Rubber owned by the 33-year-old entrepreneur from New York registered its condoms with the name Trojan and the original packaging featured the Trojan helmet.
The Trojan rubber was first created in 1920 but it started selling its products much later in 1927. To market its condoms, the company placed an ad in a trade magazine targeted at pharmacists. A decade later in 1930, Young’s Rubber changed its name to Young’s Drug Products Corporation. This was later acquired by Carter-Wallace in 1985 and eventually by Church & Dwight in 2001 at a price of $739 million.
Carter-Wallace was formerly the Carter Medicine Company established in 1880. It later became Carter Products and in 1965, the company changed its name to what it is today. As Carter-Wallace, it was credited for the development of products such as the Nair, Pearl Drops, First Response and Trojan Condoms.
Church & Dwight Co. Inc, on the other hand, is a manufacturer of households products and is based in Princeton, New Jersey. In 2010, it grabbed the 723rd spot in the Fortune 500 listing of companies. The company was established in 1896 merging the two companies of John Dwight and his brother-in-law Dr. Austin Church.
Owing to its popularity, the brand was selected in the 1980s by the U.S. surgeon general to be part of an anti-AIDS campaign. The AIDS epidemic at that time was so widespread particularly in the African continent.
Most of the Trojan condoms are made from latex. For those who are still not very familiar about this material, latex is made from the sap of rubber which then undergoes a process to turn it into liquid latex. Other additives are mixed during the process, put into cylindrical glass molds and then are dipped. Apart from its latex condoms, however, Trojan also makes the product using the polyurethane material. This is known as the Supra and is effective in preventing pregnancy and STD transmission.
Each pack of Trojan bears an expiration date and a series of numbers. The first numbers are the date of expiration while the next series represent the date of manufacture as well as the dip line, foiling line and testing line. Consumers need to make sure that they use the condom before the expiry date to ensure its effectiveness.
Trojan today has around 30 varieties of its popular condoms including Ecstacy, Supra, Magnum XL, Her Pleasure and Extended Pleasure. Every year, some 8 billion condoms are manufactured and 70.5 percent of the sales are that of Trojan. They can be bought at many retail stores as well as online.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requires condom manufacturers to follow the proper labeling, manufacturing practices and pre-market clearance when distributing in the U.S. FDA regulates this rubber protective tool as medical devices.