These vintage home pregnancy test kits used test tubes & had a two-hour wait

Vintage home pregnancy test kits

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On the way to achieving today’s super-simple, one-piece home pregnancy tests that give results in two or three minutes, women of the 90s and 80s needed to spend many years playing amateur chemist with test tubes, then wait a very tense two or so hours for a result (assuming they performed the test perfectly).

Over the years, the amount of time you needed to wait decreased, but the overall simplicity wasn’t on par with what we have today. Here is a look back at the evolution of home pregnancy tests (up until the old pregnancy test sticks hit the market)!

What some of the first vintage home pregnancy test kits looked like (1970s)

ACU-TEST gives you the answer. At home… in two hours. (1978)

“I wonder if I’m pregnant”

Now there’s an easy way to find out if you’re pregnant. Acu-Test is a safe and simple urine test for pregnancy that requires no internal examination.

In tests by hundreds of women in their own homes, Acu-Test’s pregnancy readings proved to be 97% accurate.

You can clearly see the results of your Acu-Test in just 2 hours. The appearance of a dark ring in the mirror at the base of the Acu-Test kit indicates that you’re pregnant.

If the result of your Acu-Test shows you’re not pregnant, and you do not start menstruating in a week’s time, you need to use a new Acu-Test. If your period has not started after a second negative reading, consult your doctor.

The sooner you know if you’re pregnant, the sooner you can begin to take proper care of yourself. Acu-Test. Clinically tested. At your drugstore now.

New ACU-TEST gives you the answer. At home... in two hours (1978)

Vintage EPT (Early Pregnancy Test) from 1978

The E.P.T. In-Home Early Pregnancy Test is a private little revolution any woman can easily buy at her drugstore.

It is highly accurate. Millions of women today in 13 European countries use this testing method. Now its high accuracy rate has been verified here in America by doctors who clinically confirmed the results of tests performed by women themselves in their own homes.

That means you can confidently do this easy pregnancy test yourself — privately — right at home without waiting for appointments or delays. That simple difference is the result of many years of costly research. And it’s worth every penny.

Vintage EPT test tube pregnancy test from 1978

At last, early knowledge of pregnancy belongs easily and accurately to us all. It’s simple. Fast. And there is no risk, no physical danger whatever, in doing it, because a sample of your first morning urine is all that’s needed for the test.

As soon as you become pregnant, your body starts to produce a special hormone HCG. Starting on the 9th day after the date you expected your menstrual period to begin, there should be sufficient concentration of HCG in your urine to give an accurate reading of pregnancy.

And that’s all there is to it. Follow the test directions with care, and three drops of urine can tell you quickly and easily what you want to know.

See back when they debuted the easy-to-read pregnancy test sticks (1987)

If you get a positive reading, you can assume you are pregnant. Such positive pregnancy readings in our clinical tests proved to be 97% accurate. If your reading is negative, your overdue period should begin soon. If a week passes and you still have not started menstruating, you should take a second E.P.T. test because there may not have been sufficient HCG in your urine at the time of the first test, or you may have miscalculated your period.

Negative readings on a first test are about 80% accurate; on repeat testing one week later they are 91% accurate. If your second test result is still negative and your period has not begun, we urge you to consult your doctor as soon as possible.

E.P.T. is very simple to do, but it is important that you follow the instructions carefully to insure an accurate reading.

E.P.T. Early Pregnancy Test gives women new power — the power of time to help control the quality of their pregnancies. The first 60 days are critical in fetal development. Improper nutrition, cigarettes, alcohol, even commonly used household medications can be harmful in these crucial first 60 days before most women even know for sure that they ore pregnant. Now with E.P.T., you can know.

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Now, when you call your doctor, you have the results of your test to report. And time is on your side at last.

EPT test tube home pregnancy test kit from 1978

Pregnant? Compare in-home tests. You’ll choose Predictor. (1979)

1979 Predictor in-home early pregnancy test kit

EPT – The first home pregnancy test kits with test tube result (October 1979)

e.p.t. is the only in-home pregnancy test proven accurate by more than a million women. (Results in two hours.)

In-home early pregnancy test kits from 1979

Mom didn't know she was pregnant: The first big news story about a surprise baby (1915)

Close-up look at vintage lab setup for the first home pregnancy test kits in the 1970s

Warner/Chilcott (Warner/Lambert) made one of the first home pregnancy test kits

Old test tube pregnancy test kits from 1979 (2)

EPT test-tube home pregnancy test kits (1979)

Instructions for droppers and test tubes for the first home pregnancy test kits

Old test tube pregnancy test kit directions from 1979

Vintage early home pregnancy test: Positive and negative results

Old test tube pregnancy test kits from 1979 (3)

Daisy 2 pregnancy test kit for results in 1 hour (1982)

No other pregnancy test gives you all this: 1 hour test time (most home tests require 2 hours). — A toll-free number so you can talk to our registered nurse to ask a question… get advice and counsel. — Our double-check system with 2 tests in every kit so you can reassure yourself as to the accuracy of your test result.

Vintage one-hour home pregnancy test kit from 1982

EPT test-tube home pregnancy test kits (1982)

Warner-Lambert made one of the first home pregnancy test kits

EPT test tube home pregnancy test kits from 1982

FACT pregnancy tests: Yes or no in 45 minutes (1984)

Pregnancy tests have come a long way. 

You don’t do things the way your mother did. You’re different. Your needs are different. You even have a different way of finding out whether or not you’re pregnant. A more personal, more involved way. FACT Home Pregnancy Test.

FACT has been shown to be 99% accurate overall in laboratory studies. And FACT utilizes the same test procedures used in many hospitals and laboratories. To further ensure accuracy, FACT has a unique kit design for easy home use. 

ACT utilizes advanced technology so sensitive you can test yourself as soon as 3 days after a missed period. And read your results in just 45 minutes. That means you can start taking care of yourself right away, even before you see your doctor.

And with FACT, should you have any questions about your test or results, there’s someone you can talk to. Not just any someone, but a specially trained registered nurse at our toll-free number. The number is inside your FACT kit.

ALSO SEE: Vintage ovulation predictor test kits: These home fertility tests from the 80s & 90s were like magic

FACT pregnancy tests Yes or no in 45 minutes (1984)

EPT red or white portable pregnancy 1-hour test kit (1984)

UNMISTAKABLE. Red, no. White, yes. e.p.t. Plus. No doubt about it.

One easy step… makes EPT PLUS totally simple to use and to read. You perform the test in one small test tube. And, in one short hour, a dramatic color change tells you yes or no, so there’s no doubt about the results.

Another advantage — it’s the first and only portable test of its kind. Do the test in the morning, slip the tube into your purse and take it with you.

And you can trust the accuracy. Clinical testing has proven about it EPT PLUS to be just as accurate as the tests often used in hospitals and labs.

If you’ve never used a home pregnancy test before, or if you’ve found other tests to be complicated to use and difficult to read, be reassured EPT PLUS is for you. It’s the easier test to use and it’s easy to read. And there’s no doubt about it.

EPT Plus Early Pregnancy Test liquid results (1984)

First Response home diagnostic kit (1985)

Am I pregnant? New First Response. The truth in 20 minutes.

New First Response Pregnancy Test is the most sensitive ever perfected. It’s based on breakthrough technology from the makers of Tampax tampons.

The test is simple to do and easy to read. You’re pregnant if the liquid turns a distinct blue, and not pregnant if it remains clear. Results cannot be affected by vibration or movement as they can with ordinary tests.

First response test tube 20-minute color-changing liquid pregnancy tests from 1985

Old-school color-changing liquid pregnancy tests & ovulation predictors (1980s)

Vintage color-changing liquid pregnancy tests (1987)

“Darling, of course I’m sure. I just did my First Response pregnancy test.”

“But how can you be so sure, so soon?”

“Darling, with First Response, you don’t have to wait days or weeks to find out the truth anymore. I just did the test, and today’s the day I’m due! It took only minutes, and it’s as accurate as any lab.

“And I know I can rely on my result. Because First Response is simple to do, and so easy to read. I’m pregnant if the liquid turns blue; not pregnant if it stays clear. That’s it. There’s no second-guessing.”

First Response pregnancy test 1987 - color-changing liquid pregnancy tests

EPT Early Pregnancy Test TV commercial (1984)

This television ad for color-changing liquid pregnancy tests features actress Dana Delaney

YouTube video

Chemistry-set-like pregnancy test kits available in 1987

EPT plus, QTest and Fact pregnancy test kits

1987 Vintage pregnancy test kits

First Response with results in 10 minutes (1988)

First Response pregnancy test 1988

Hey, don’t use home pregnancy tests! Go to a lab! (1978)


Here’s why you should leave pregnancy testing in the hands of professionals.

Many clinical laboratories do hundreds of pregnancy tests each day — and the accuracy of these tests is high: usually 98% or more. There’s even a revolutionary new test — Biocept-G, manufactured by Wampole Laboratories — that can detect normal pregnancy with virtually 100% accuracy as soon as a menstrual period is missed.

Laboratory technologists are trained professionals with years of experience. They work with the latest, up-to-the-minute equipment to insure the accuracy and quality control of their procedures. So, if you think you might be pregnant, we suggest you think twice before taking your pregnancy test into your own hands.

WAMPOLE LABORATORIES 41, Leaders in professional pregnancy testing for 15 years.

Wampole Laboratories - Pregnancy tests (1978)

THE NEXT STEP: See old pregnancy test sticks from the 80s & 90s that were easier to use than ever before

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