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This article is about one brand of adhesive bandage. For the musical ensemble "Band Aid", see Band Aid (band). For other uses, see Band Aid.
Band-Aid brand logo.
A Band-Aid brand bandage

Band-Aid is a brand name of American pharmaceutical and medical devices giant Johnson & Johnson's line of adhesive bandages and related products.

Despite common misconception, Band-Aid is a genericized trademark in the United States.[1] The term "band-aid" has entered usage as both a noun and verb describing a temporary fix. (E.g. "Band-aid solutions were used to fix the leak.")


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.[2] 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, 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.[3] One of the products noted jingles was composed by Barry Manilow. The chorus is "I'm stuck on Band-Aid brand because Band-Aid's stuck on me!"

Related products[edit]

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.

See also[edit]

  • Band Aid, a charity music group founded by Bob Geldof and Midge Ure.


  1. ^ USPTO Trademark for Band-Aid
  2. ^ BAND-AID Brand Adhesive Bandages Beginnings
  3. ^ Webber, Harry (June 19, 1998). Divide and Conquer: Target Your Customers Through Market Segmentation. Wiley. p. 39. ISBN 9780471176336. 

External links[edit]