“I am stuck on Band-Aid brand ‘cause Band-Aid’s stuck on me.”
This infectious jingle was all over the place in the 80’s, and it really gets to the heart of something true. People have really been “stuck on Band-Aid” since the brand was introduced by Johnson & Johnson in 1920.
With over 100 years of taking care of our boo boos, it’s about time to pay homage to this one-of-a-kind brand. Here are 11 fun facts you probably didn’t know about the history and legacy of Band-Aids.
1. Band-Aid is actually a trademarked brand name.
Bandages are the generic version while Band-Aid is the trademark, but that hasn’t stopped people from asking specifically for a “Band-Aid.” It is one of many Johnson & Johnson products that is subject to something known as genericide – the process by which a brand name loses its distinctive identity as a result to being used to refer to any product or service of its kind.
2. Earle Dickson invented the Band-Aid in 1920.
The story goes that Earle’s wife, Jacqueline, frequently cut and burned herself while cooking. His solution was the Band-Aid, which was sticky enough to hold still over the wound, but not so sticky that it interfered with her mobility in the kitchen. Jacqueline loved the Band-Aid, and Earle soon brought the idea to global conglomerate, Johnson & Johnson.
3. Boy Scouts were a huge part of the Band-Aid’s success.
Johnson & Johnson first marketed the Band-Aid with the help of the Boy Scouts of America. Every troop was sent a complimentary box that they could use on wilderness expeditions. The bandages were so helpful out in the forest, the boys’ families became interested in using them at home. Talk about smart marketing!
4. Cuts heal faster with a Band-Aid.
It’s true! Your cut or open wound will heal a lot faster with a Band-Aid. According to Cleveland Clinic, leaving an injury uncovered may dry out new surface cells and expose it to germs and dirt that could cause infection. A Band-Aid is a quick solution, and with so many colors and fun patterns to choose from, you won’t mind wearing one!
5. You should leave a Band-Aid on for 24 to 48 hours.
Harvard Health claims you should keep a wound covered with a Band-Aid for at least 1 day. However, if it takes your injury a bit longer to heal, you may have to keep it covered for 2 days. It just depends on how fast your body recovers!
6. The first printed Band-Aids featured Mickey Mouse and came out in 1951.
Disney was in its early stages of dominance in the 1950’s. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs had just crushed in theaters, and the brand needed to keep up the momentum to be successful. This led to a partnership with Johnson & Johnson for the release of Mickey Mouse Band-Aids. These bandages were a huge hit and remain a favorite even to this day.
7. Neil Armstrong could have been wearing a Band-Aid when he walked on the moon.
Band-Aids were part of the medical kits that were onboard the spacecraft during the Apollo 8 and Apollo 11 missions. Who knows? Neil Armstrong may have gotten a papercut and could have been wearing one underneath his gloves as he walked on the moon!
8. Barry Manilow wrote the “I am stuck on Band-Aids” advertising jingle.
Barry Manilow took a break from singing “Mandy” to write the popular “I am stuck on Band-Aid” jingle in 1976. This jingle, and the commercial it was part of, were all over TV in the 80’s. The campaign even went on to receive a CLIO award for excellence in advertising. People haven’t been able to get the song out of their heads ever since!
9. Band-Aids are in an estimated 1 out of every 7 American home.
Do you remember going to a friend’s house as a kid and falling off your bike? Their parents probably had Band-Aids in the medicine cabinet. In fact, it’s estimated that Band-Aids are in 1 out of every 7 households in America. Accidents happen everywhere, so you get the peace of mind knowing your wounds will likely always be covered!
10. Johnson & Johnson released diverse skin tone Band-Aids in 2020.
Everybody loves Band-Aids, so nobody should feel excluded. Johnson & Johnson’s solution was to release Band-Aids in shades other than their trademark beige. While it doesn’t solve all the issues by any means, it is a step in the right direction when it comes to representation.
11. Scientists are working on an electric Band-Aid.
The latest versions of Band-Aid could be brought to you by science! The American Chemical Society released a report that discussed their work on healing wounds using electric stimulation. This could mean that a wearable bandage device, kind of like an Apple Watch or Fitbit, could be in our future!
You’ve likely been using Band-Aids since you were a kid, but how many of these interesting facts did you actually know? It’s a brand that’s part of our everyday lives, so it’s worth learning more about!
Share these fun facts with your family and friends, and the next time you get an ouchie, think about the fascinating history of the Band-Aid brand!
Soft Schools. Band-Aids – History of Band-Aids. Retrieved from, https://www.softschools.com/inventions/history/band_aids_history/17/
Levine, H. (2017, April 9). Stick With It: 18 Fun Facts About the History of Band-Aid® Brand Adhesive Bandages. Retrieved from, https://www.jnj.com/our-heritage/18-facts-about-the-history-of-band-aid-brand-adhesive-bandages
Cavaliere, C. (2017, May 19). Should You Bandage a Cut or Sore, or Let it Air Out? Retrieved from, https://health.clevelandclinic.org/cover-wound-air/
Harvard Health Publishing. (2006 October). In Brief: Take Off That Band-Aid. Retrieved from, https://www.health.harvard.edu/newsletter_article/In_brief_Take_off_that_Band-Aid
Higgins, C. (2016, September 18). How the Band-Aid Was Invented. Retrieved from, https://www.mentalfloss.com/article/86253/how-band-aid-was-invented
Bellis, M. (2019, March 2). The History of the Band-Aid. Retrieved from, https://www.thoughtco.com/history-of-the-band-aid-1991345
AAAA. America Gets Stuck on Barry Manilow’s ‘I Am Stuck on Band Aid,’ and Many More. Retrieved from, https://www.aaaa.org/timeline-event/america-gets-stuck-barry-manilows-stuck-band-aid-many/
CBS Sunday Morning. (2015, May 31). Band-Aids Still Sticking Around. Retrieved from, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lZ3uFPSjmZI
Mammoser, G. (2018, December 11). Is an Electric Band-Aid in the Future of First Aid? Retrieved from, https://www.healthline.com/health-news/heres-a-way-to-build-a-better-bandaid
CBS Boston. (2020, June 12). Band-Aid Adding New Brown and Black Skin Tones. Retrieved from, https://boston.cbslocal.com/2020/06/12/band-aid-new-colors-skin-tone-black-brown-johnson-and-johnson/