The Story Behind the Brand – BAND-AID

We’ve all had them – an unexpected annoying cut.  We’ve all reached for them – BAND-AID Bandages, those little adhesive cotton pads to help stop the bleeding.

This Story Behind the Brand looks at the origin of BAND-AID Brand Bandages as told by the company.  Since 1920, BAND-AID has been helping people world wide with their “ouchies!”

We hope you enjoy this story and the fun commercial below.  (The chorus of this jingle was penned by Barry Manilow)

BAND-AID Commercial

Band-Aid History

BAND-AID® Brand Adhesive Bandages Beginnings

Who hasn’t used BAND-AID® Brand Adhesive Bandages? In a world full of cuts, scrapes, and blisters it seems hard to imagine life without those little adhesive bandages. Of course, there have always been cuts and scrapes, but there haven’t always been adhesive bandages. This fact was painfully clear to a young housewife named Josephine Dickson.

Back in 1920, this newlywed was living in New Brunswick, New Jersey, with her husband Earle. A cotton buyer at Johnson & Johnson, Earle came home every night to find dinner on the table courtesy of his loving wife Josephine. She worked hard to keep their home beautiful; and sometimes suffered for her work by getting cuts or minor burns on her fingers. Since adhesive bandages were not available at the time, Earle and Josephine would cut pieces of adhesive tape and cotton gauze to make bandages of their own. This became rather time consuming. They were in a real bind.

Finally, Earle hit upon an idea. He sat down and prepared some ready-made bandages by placing squares of cotton gauze at intervals along an adhesive strip and covering them with crinoline. Now all Josephine had to do was cut off a length of the strip and wrap it over her cut. In a way, it was a mother who was responsible for the invention of the BAND-AID® Brand Adhesive Bandage.

Earle soon told his boss at work about his new invention and soon the first adhesive bandages were being produced and sold under the world famous BAND-AID® trademark. Earle was eventually rewarded with a position as Vice President in the company, where he stayed until his retirement. Josephine, and countless other American housewives, now had plenty of BAND-AID® Brand Adhesive Bandages available for any instance. Earle Dickson may not have realized what a cutting edge product he was inventing, but it certainly stuck around.

For All Your Treating or Protecting Needs

BAND-AID® Brand Adhesive Bandages have long been a staple in a family’s first-aid kit as a source of healing, comfort, and protection. And as the brand has expanded over the years, so too has the technology and innovation behind it. BAND-AID® Brand has moved from being strictly a bandage to becoming a brand that offers a wide variety of products to meet the diverse needs of today’s active families and their lifestyles.

BAND-AID Timeline

1920 – BAND-AID® Brand Adhesive Bandages make their first appearance on the market. They are made by hand and are not a big hit. They were three inches wide and eighteen inches long. Only $3,000 worth were sold the first year.

1924 – The little red string used to open BAND-AID® Brand Adhesive Bandages wrappers makes its first appearance.

1938 – Completely sterile bandages are introduced.

1942 – Millions of adhesive bandages go overseas as part of the war effort

1951 – Plastic strips are introduced.

1956 – Decorative bandages are introduced – “Stars and Strips” (not Stripes).

1957 – Clear Strips bandages are introduced.

1958 – BAND-AID® Brand Adhesive Bandages are first produced in sheer vinyl.

1963 – Adhesive bandages go into space with Mercury astronauts.

1971 – Brooke Shields appears in a BAND-AID® Brand television commercial.

1975 – Terri Garr appears in a BAND-AID® Brand television commercial

1975 – John Travolta appears in a BAND-AID® Brand television commercial

1982 – Chris Evert appears in a BAND-AID® Brand television commercial

1988 – Perestroika arrives in Eastern Europe and so does BAND-AID® Brand.

1994 – BAND-AID® Brand SPORT STRIP® Adhesive Bandages are introduced

1995 – 75th Anniversary

1997 – Introduction of BAND-AID® Brand Antibiotic Adhesive Bandages, the first ever adhesive bandage to have specially formulated antibiotic ointment right on the pad.

2000 – BAND-AID® Brand Advanced Healing is the latest generation in wound care available to consumers.

2001 – Over 100 billion BAND-AID® Brand Adhesive Bandages have been made to date… and is launched!

2002 – Introduction of a revolutionary new concept from BAND-AID® Brand – the Liquid Bandage that promotes fast healing on contact.

2005 – BAND-AID® Brand celebrates its 85th Anniversary and re-launches limited edition tins.

2006 – Re-launch of plus Antibiotic with new look and more line extensions.

2007 – BAND-AID® Brand brings back “I am stuck on BAND-AID Brand” jingle with new commercial.

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