I recently attended a Johnson & Johnson event in New York City to commemorate the 125th anniversary of the First Aid Kit. It's hard to think of a time without Band-Aids for my blisters or Benadryl for my bug bites. They're both safely tucked away in my cabinet – in my First Aid Kit.
But in 1888, life wasn't so convenient, especially for industrial workers. Robert Wood Johnson, the founder of the Johnson & Johnson company, was traveling via railroad through the Rocky Mountains when he had a realization. The railroad surgeon had told him of the dangers of laying down track and the struggle to provide injured railroad workers with proper medical care. The train was often far from established medical centers or even from access to sterile medical supplies.
Johnson saw a need to be filled. He consulted other railway surgeons and soon the first commercial First Aid Kit equipped railway surgeons to treat injuries of all kinds. The ingenuity of the kit attracted people from all different lifestyles. From soldiers to celebrities, First Aid Kits are often used as the first resource to treat injuries throughout history.
1891 - The first-ever general First Aid Kits are sold.
1898 - Pocket-sized First Aid Kits are developed for soldiers in combat during the Spanish-American War.
1920 - The Band-Aid is introduced. Earle Dickinson created it to help his wife Josephine protect the cuts and burns she received while preparing dinner.
1954 - The Band-Aid debuts on television in an advertisement, "Emergencies Don't Wait," featuring comedian Imogne Coca.
1956 - The first patterned Band-Aids are sold, the red and blue "Stars and Strips."
1963 - Astronauts bring Band-Aids into space with them on the first trip to Mercury.
1987 - Johnson & Johnson becomes a founding partner of Safe Kids Worldwide, a "global organization dedicated to preventing injuries in children."
2013 - To celebrate the 125th anniversary of the First Aid Kit, Johnson & Johnson launch the Everyday Care Campaign in partnership with Safe Kids Worldwide and actress Maggie Gyllenhal. The campaign raises funds to host more than 200 sports safety clinics to teach kids about first aid readiness, how to deal with injuries and concussions and more safety necessities.
Johnson & Johnson provides a free first aid bag when you purchase of three or more First Aid Kit supplies (such as Band-Aids, Neosporin products, Johnson & Johnson Red Cross first aid products and Benadryl anti-itch topical products) at your local participating CVS store. For every redeemed bag, the brands will donate fifteen cents to Safe Kids Worldwide.
The best thing for injuries is to practice injury prevention. But if you can't, you can always have a Band-Aid.