Johnson & Johnson

Band-Aid (1920)

The Band-Aid was invented in 1920 by Johnson & Johnson employee Earle Dickson for his wife Josephine, because she always cut her fingers in the kitchen. He combined a piece of sterilized gauze with a strip of surgical tape, which allowed her to dress her wounds without assistance.

His boss, James Johnson did like the idea but the original Band-Aids were handmade and not very economical. In 1924 machines were installed for mass-production of sterilized Band-Aids. In World War II, millions were shipped overseas, helping popularize the product: band-aid grew out to become a generic term for all plasters or adhesive bandages. Because of the success of his design, Earle Dickson was later promoted to vice president of Johnson & Johnson.

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© Johnson & Johnson, New Brunswick, US

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