Johnson & Johnson has made an estimated 100 billion Band-Aids since their invention in 1920. But what led to this invention? It took a little ingenuity, some sticky tape, and plenty of scrapes around the house.
In 1920, Josephine and Earle Dickson were newly married, and Josephine often suffered minor cuts and burns around the house. Earle was a cotton buyer for Johnson & Johnson, and the pair worked together to make improvised stick-on bandages for Josephine's minor injuries. These were made from sticky surgical tape and trimmed-down sterile bandages.
Eventually, the pair figured out that they could make a lot of pre-made bandages by laying out a long roll of sticky tape and cutting out lots of little pads. Together with some crinoline to keep the sticky bits from getting prematurely stuck, they had created adhesive bandages...later known as BAND-AID® Brand Adhesive Bandages (ahem).
With a little further engineering—and some clever marketing to the Boy Scouts—Band-Aids became a household name. Here's the history of the invention in just 100 seconds:
Further viewing: Watch a Super Silly ‘50s Band-Aid Commercial.