Band-Aid is a brand name for Johnson & Johnson's line of adhesive bandages and related products. It has also become something of genericized trademark for any adhesive bandage in Australia, Brazil, Canada, India and United States.
"Band-aid" has also entered usage as a term for any temporary fix. (e.g. "Band-aid solutions were used to fix the leak.")
The Band-Aid was invented in 1920 by Earle Dickson, an employee of Johnson & Johnson, for his wife Josephine Dickson, who frequently cut and burned herself while cooking. The prototype product allowed his wife to dress her wounds without assistance. Dickson, a Highland Park, New Jersey resident at the time, passed the idea on to his employer who then went on to produce and market the product as the Band-Aid. Dickson had a successful career at Johnson & Johnson, eventually becoming a Vice President at the company before his retirement in 1957.
The first bandages produced were hand-made and not very popular. By 1924, Johnson & Johnson introduced the first machine that produced sterilized Band-Aids. In World War II, millions of Band-Aid bandages were shipped overseas, most of which went to the medical team. Other bandages were shipped to hospitals for people in urgent care.
In 1951, the first decorative Band-Aids were introduced to the market. They continue to be a commercial success today with decorative themes such as Superman, Spider-Man, Hello Kitty, Rocket Power, Rugrats, smiley faces, Barbie, Dora the Explorer, and Batman.
The products long running commercial jingle "I'm Stuck On A Band-Aid" was written by singer Barry Manilow.
Johnson & Johnson makes a variety of different products under the Band-Aid brand. These include Band-Aid liquid bandages and Scar Healing bandages. Their newest products include Active Flex bandages, which come in a variety of shapes, forming a fluid-filled barrier to help wounds heal faster. They also include waterproof Tough Strips, which have a strong adhesive, allowing for longer wear. In addition to wound treatment bandages, the company produces Burn-Aid, a burn gel which is applied as a prepackaged bandage. In order to protect the name as a registered trademark, the product is always referred to as "Band-Aid brand" and not just Band-Aid.
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