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Birthday of Julius Fromm, 1884

On This Day in Jewish History: March 4, 1859


On this day in 1883, Julius Fromm was born in Konin (which at the time was Russia), and when he got older, his family moved to Berlin in search of a better life. The family worked as cigarette rollers, but the craft was replaced by automation. As a result, Julius studied chemistry. After the first World War, there was a shift in German sexual values toward more liberal attitudes. At the time, animal intestines were frequently used to make condoms. Charles Goodyear had invented a modern condom made of rubber; however, it was not popular as it was not comfortable. So, in 1916, Fromm patented “Fromm’s Act”, which was a condom making process that had molds dipped into a rubber solution. This meant that the condoms were thin and were more comfortable than Goodyear’s condom. These condoms were so successful that Fromm was soon able to sell worldwide. However, in 1938, the Nazis had risen to power and because Fromm was Jewish, he was forced to sell his business. He immigrated to London and died on May 12, 1945. After Fromm’s death, his children were unable to get the family business back to the rise of communism in East Germany. The children were eventually able to make Fromm’s condoms again, but by that time all of the original factories had been destroyed.


 

Sources:

https://www.jewishbookcouncil.org/book/fromms-how-julius-fromms-condom-empire-fell-to-the-nazis

https://www.dw.com/en/book-tells-little-known-tale-of-revolutionary-condom-maker/a-2378337

https://www.vice.com/en/article/bnp4xa/inventor-condom-vending-machine-julius-fromm

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