Johnson & Johnson Company was founded by brothers Robert, James and Edward Johnson in New Brunswick, NJ
Johnson & Johnson employee Earle Dickson invented the Band-Aid and the company put them on the market
RED STRING PACKAGING
A red string was added to Band-Aid packaging for easier opening
Band-Aid introduced Plastic Strips, noted for their improved durability and comfort
DESIGNS AND COLORS
The first decorative Band-Aids were produced
Band-Aids go to space with the Mercury astronauts
1 BILLION SOLD
Johnson & Johnson celebrated over 1 billion Band-Aids produced and sold
Covering Cuts Since 1920.
The Origin of the Band-Aid
Who hasn’t heard the jingle, “I am stuck on Band-Aid (brand) ‘cause Band-Aid’s stuck on me!” It’s one of those product words that have come to represent every form of wound or cut coverage – kind of like the term Kleenex. The first Band-Aids, created by Earle Dickson in 1920 for his accident-prone wife, consisted of pieces of sterile gauze stuck in the middle of strips of surgical tape. Dickson’s employer just happened to be Johnson & Johnson, a family-owned business run by the brothers Johnson. Until 1924 Band-Aids were made by hand and not popular at all. Once the brothers had introduced a machine that made sterilized Band-Aids, the product took off. Helping the product promotion was the free-giveaway to Boy Scouts.
Band-Aids in World War II
At the outset of WWII, most factories retro-fitted to create products for the war effort; Johnson & Johnson was no different – they had recently learned how to sterilize Band-Aids. During World War II, millions of Band-Aids were shipped to troops overseas. Band-Aids were included in mess kits and, of course, in medics’ bags.
Johnson & Johnson won’t reveal actual revenues from the sale of Band-Aids; however, their brand currently holds almost 49% of the bandage market*. Their dipping sales to generic brands got a recent boost with the introduction of Star Wars and Frozen characters. As of 2001, Johnson & Johnson had sold over 100 billion Band-Aids world-wide.
Band-Aids as Fashion
A customer recently said, “I almost feel like they’re a fashion accessory.” Not only can you cover your cuts with Dory, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, the Muppets, and even Veteran Hero Band-Aids, Johnson & Johnson has developed liquid, scar healing, and burn aid products. If you’re wanting to appear athletic, they make Active Flex and waterproof Tough Strips. Band-Aids are always referred to as “Band-Aid brand” by Johnson and Johnson.
Did You Know?
- The red string used to open a Band-Aid first appeared in 1924
- In 1956 the first “decorative” Band-Aids appeared – the collection now includes such iconic figures as Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, Superman, Spider-Man, Hello Kitty, Rugrats, Barbie, Batman, Duck Dynasty, and Star Wars.
- The Band-Aid jingle was originally written, by Barry Manilow, for David Bowie, and has been recorded by Paul Young, Kylie Minogue, Chris Martin (Coldplay), and One Direction.
- In 1963, Band-Aids went into space with the Mercury astronauts.
* Kleenex and McDonald’s brands both have almost 50% of their market share.
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