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Idealog—in the ideas business

Innovation of the day: The band-aid

Who: Earle Dickson

Innovation: Band-Aid

What does it do?

It's a bandage that allows you to dress your wounds all by yourself!

What problem does it solve?

Dickson, an employee of Johnson & Johnson, invented the Band-Aid in 1920. His wife used to cut herself while cooking. By inventing the Band-Aid, Dickson no longer had to come to his wife's aid when the inevitable accident with a knife happened - she could patch herself up.

A success?

Thanks to the Band-Aid, Dickson had a rather successful career at Johnson & Johnson - he became a vice-president at the company. Band-Aids remain a must-have in the first aid kit. You can get them in all sorts of shapes and sizes, and some even come with a decorative theme (think SpongeBob SquarePants, Barbie and Sesame Street). Fun fact: the first decorative Band-Aids were introduced to the market in 1951.

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