Invention of Adhesive Bandages

Invention of Adhesive Bandages


Earle Dickson invented the adhesive bandages for his wife who frequently cut herself while doing housework.


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Earle Dickson (October 10, 1892—September 21, 1961) was an American inventor best known for inventing adhesive bandages in the US. He lived in Highland Park, New Jersey, for a large portion of his life.

Dickson was a cotton buyer at the Johnson & Johnson company. His wife, Josephine Knight, often cut herself while doing housework and cooking. Dickson found that gauze placed on a wound with tape did not stay on her active fingers. In 1920, he placed squares of gauze in intervals on a roll of tape, held in place with crinoline. James Wood Johnson, his boss, liked the idea and put it into production. In 1924, Johnson & Johnson installed machines to mass-produce the once handmade bandages. Following the commercial success of his design, Dickson was promoted to vice president.


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