Band-Aid is a well known brand name of adhesive bandages, and the term is also used generally to refer to any adhesive bandage in many countries. These adhesive bandages are used for small cuts and scrapes to protect the area from further damage and/or infection. They can be made of plastic, fabric or latex and one side is covered with an adhesive to stick to the skin along with a small pad of cotton to absorb any discharge from the wound. They come in many shapes and sizes, but the most common is a small strip about 8 cm (3 in) long and 1.5 cm (0.5in) wide. Unlike many other bandages, adhesive bandages can be applied without any help. Let’s find out who invented the Band-Aid.
Who invented the Band-Aid?
The Band-Aid was invented by Johnson & Johnson employee Earle Dickson. However, he didn’t invent the product for the company (he was a cotton buyer). He got the idea for the product from his wife, who would often cut or burn herself when preparing dinner or while performing other work in the home. Traditionally gauze was stuck to a wound with tape, but he found that this made it hard to dress the wound and that it would often fall off the wound. In 1920 he invented the first adhesive bandage by pre-placing gauze at certain points on a roll of tape, which were held in place with a fabric known as crinoline. This rudimentary design was successful and he passed the idea onto Johnson & Johnson, where the idea was improved and created into the Band-Aid brand. For his idea Dickson was eventually promoted to vice president of the company!
Did you know?
When Dickson first presented the idea to the company they were not initially impressed. However, this changed when he demonstrated how he could dress a wound without any assistance!
The original Band-Aids were made by hand and sold for 2 cents per pack of 15. They were not popular, but the company knew they had potential so they developed a machine to produce sterilized bandages in 1924. The product became a huge success during World War II and Band-Aid became a household name.
Two other common names for these bandages are plaster, which is used mostly in the UK, and Elastoplast, which is another brand name.