This photo gallery highlights selections from the Russel J. Thomsen, MD, Contraceptive Collection of the Loma Linda University School of Medicine; a collection which now contains over 1900 intrauterine, barrier, and hormonal contraceptive devices and products.
Dr. Russel J. Thomsen (December 15, 1941- ) was born in Centralia, Washington. He graduated from Centralia High School in 1960, and Walla Walla University in 1964. He received his MD from the Loma Linda University School of Medicine in 1968, and completed his residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Utah (1968-1972). Board Certified, he went on to serve in the United Sates Army Medical Corps for over 30 years, eventually retiring with the rank of Colonel. Dr. Thomsen’s work with the military and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), would span 50 countries—including the entire Soviet Union—and allow for the safe delivery of over 4000 babies.
In 1973, Dr. Thomsen testified under subpoena before a Congressional subcommittee, concerning the failure of the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to regulate the testing and marketing of intrauterine devices, in particular, the Dalkon Shield. Following this testimony, Dr. Thomsen would begin building the Russel J. Thomsen Contraceptive Collection.
Dr. Thomsen’s collection was greatly enhanced by the addition of the historical collection developed by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology under contract with USAID, and that of Dr. Denniston. The Thomsen Collection is international in scope, including devices from more than 15 countries. The collection also includes product and patent information, and in many cases, personal correspondence between Dr. Thomsen and contraceptive developers such as Dr. Jack Lippes of the Lippes Loop, Dr. Lazar Margulies (the Margulies Spiral), Dr. Jaime Zipper (the Zipper Ring) and Dr. Howard Tatum (Copper T and Zinc 7). Also present are 19th century cervico-uterine pessaries, as well as original Grafenberg rings from Ernst Grafenberg, “Father of the IUD.”
The complete collection is housed in the Department of Archives and Special Collections, University Libraries, Loma Linda University and is available for research. Questions regarding the collection can be directed to: Lori N. Curtis, Chair, Department of Archives and Special Collections, , or to the Department’s email address: . Or by calling 909-558-4942.