history of first aid

  • First Aid Kit - Now 125 Years old! An American Invention.

    Obviously we are "Into First Aid"... that is what FirstAidMart.com is all about... but there's more to first aid than just a box of band-aids... it is about thoughtful preparedness, design, ease of access, and knowledge of First Aid Skills, too.

    This week Vanity Fair brought us news of the 125th Anniversary of the First Aid Kit as celebrated by Johnson & Johnson (J&J doesn't just make First Aid Kits - You'll probably recognize their other brands like BAND-AID® Brand Adhesive Bandages, Neosporin, and Tylenol)

    Johnson-and-Johnson-1It all started with a conversation. In the late 1880s, Johnson & Johnson founder Robert Wood Johnson struck up a friendly conversation with the railway surgeon on his train and discovered there was a dire need to establish a better method of treating the injuries of railroad workers on-the-job.

    Johnson-and-Johnson-2By 1888, the businessman had engineered the first-ever First Aid Kit, to solve the problem of personal safety for America's work force. Johnson & Johnson to the rescue!

    Johnson-and-Johnson-3Johnson & Johnson quickly found a new market for their revolutionary product. In 1898, pocket-sized kits were distributed to soldiers in combat during the Spanish-American War. Can you say "handy?"

    Johnson-and-Johnson-4On into the early 20th century, the health-care company was finding new uses and markets for its product all the time! With each new variety came different contents to fit the needs of its market.

    Johnson-and-Johnson-5However, Johnson & Johnson never forgot their roots! Fitting to their original mission, the company began developing kits for the new advances in transportation—cars and airplanes were considered the new frontier! In the 1920s, the Autokit was produced, containing a metal plate for the front of the car that read, "Johnson & Johnson First Aid Equipped." Even famed pilot Charles Lindbergh carried an Aerokit aboard his daring nonstop flight across the Atlantic, in 1927.

    Johnson-and-Johnson-6The 1920s marked a particularly progressive decade, as Johnson & Johnson also introduced the first Band-Aid. Band-Aids were developed by Eugene Dickenson, to assist his wife, who often cut and burned herself while cooking. Many people must have identified with her, because the bandages were an instant hit!

    Band-Aids became so popular that Johnson & Johnson eventually saw the need to diversify and individualize the brand. Creativity flowed, and the products became decorative, with patterns such as stars-and-stripes. The company even addressed the fashionability of the brand and developed a sheer Band-Aid to create the illusion that it's not there!

    To add another dimension to their company mission, Johnson & Johnson established a partnership with Safe Kids Worldwide. Unlike Johnson & Johnson's goal of emergency response, Safe Kids Worldwide focuses on preventative care. The collaboration proved beneficial to both parties.

    As individual Johnson & Johnson products were adapting all the time, First Aid Kits were as well. They began to cover just about every possible user and use!

    Actress Maggie Gyllenhaal at the 125th Anniversary Celebration of the First Aid Kit. Gyllenhaal is the face of Johnson & Johnson's latest collaboration—the Everyday Care campaign, a partnership with Safe Kids Wordlwide to promote first-aid awareness. Actress Maggie Gyllenhaal at the 125th Anniversary Celebration of the First Aid Kit. Gyllenhaal is the face of Johnson & Johnson's latest collaboration—the Everyday Care campaign, a partnership with Safe Kids Wordlwide to promote first-aid awareness.

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