The Band-Aid was invented in 1920 by Thomas Anderson and Johnson & Johnson employee Earle Dickson for his wife Josephine, who frequently cut and burned herself while cooking. The prototype allowed her to dress her wounds without assistance. Dickson passed the idea on to his employer, which went on to produce and market the product as the Band-Aid. Dickson had a successful career at Johnson & Johnson, rising to vice president before his retirement in 1957.
The original Band-Aids were handmade and not very popular. By 1924, Johnson & Johnson introduced a machine that produced sterilized Band-Aids. In World War II, millions were shipped overseas, helping popularize the product.
In 1951, the first decorative Band-Aids were introduced. They continue to be a commercial success, with such themes as Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, Superman, Spider-Man, Hello Kitty, Rocket Power, Rugrats, smiley faces, Barbie, Dora the Explorer, and Batman and Duck Dynasty.
Trademark genericization eventually resulted in the "Band-Aid" trademark losing its protective status over the Johnson & Johnson brand, becoming a generic term for all adhesive bandages. The company attempted to avoid this outcome with an advertising campaign, but failed.
Related J&J products
Johnson & Johnson also manufactures liquid bandages, Scar Healing bandages, and Burn-Aid, burn gel-impregnated bandages. Their newest products include Active Flex bandages and waterproof Tough Strips.
To protect the name, their trademark, Johnson & Johnson always refers to its products as "Band-Aid brand", not just Band-Aids.
Manufacturing facilities are located in Brazil, China and Denmark.
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