Basic Science

How the Band-Aid was invented | Moments of Vision 3

In a Moment of Vision… It’s the 1920s. Johnson and Johnson is well-established for their production of large, cotton gauze dressings that are sterile and sealed against germs, a first of its kind. An employee by the name of Earle Dickson is recently married to a young, rather accident-prone woman. Her domestic cuts and burns are too minor for the company’s large surgical dressings so Earle, in a moment of vision, cuts a small square of the sterile gauze and secures it to her finger with an adhesive strip.

Earle is forced to make so many of these bandages for his clumsy wife, he devises a method for a small production of them. In order to keep the adhesive part from sticking together, he lines them with a crinoline fabric. Johnson and Johnson begins production of Earle’s invention. In a brilliant marketing move, they distribute, for free, an unlimited number of Band-Aids to all the Boy Scout Troops across America. It doesn’t take long for them to become a household item. It is estimated that Johnson and Johnson has since made more than 100 billion Band-Aids.

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