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First First-Aid Kits and Bandages

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Hey, Camp Fans!

When you get a scrape or a cut or a bump that breaks skin—whatever unfortunate accidents befall you—we’ve become accustomed to making a trip to the medicine cabinet or wherever your family keeps the Band-Aids for a quick, convenient fix. But how did people bandage themselves in the days before the Band-Aid? Let’s take a look at the history of bandages.

Sweet Solutions

What did people do for their cuts and scrapes before the Band-Aid? Ancient cultures like the Egyptians used sugar and honey to seal up their wounds. It wasn’t necessarily the most efficient or easy means to stop bleeding, but it did produce the result they needed.

Heat-Activated Adhesive

Eventually people transitioned over to using linens and clean cotton that they rolled around the wound. By the time of the Civil War, doctors created a sticky mixture of resin, olive oil, lard, and lead monoxide that they would spread on these linen fabrics. Once the mixture dried on the fabric, it could be rolled up to be transported or stored for future use! You could cut a strip for whatever size you needed and then heat it up to activate the adhesion in the dried sticky mix.

J & J First Aid

It was 1888, more than two decades after the Civil War, the company Johnson & Johnson introduced the first commercial first-aid kit that was small enough for folks of the general public to pack along on travels. They were packed with sterile gauze, bandages, and dressings. The initial design was meant for injured railroad workers. Injuries were common for those folks and they typically worked lengthy distances away from proper medical treatment.  

Careless Mrs. Dickson

Finally, it was 1920 by the time our story gets to a newlywed couple. The wife, Josephine was a wonderful woman but had a problem with kitchen-related accidents. Much like my mother, Josephine could barely hold a knife without somehow slicing herself. Her husband Earle came up with his own adhesive bandage with a simple piece of tape and a thin gauze pad. This way his wife could dress her own cuts easily. This was the invention of the BAND-AID® Brand.

First-Aid Kits are an essential item to bring along for your trips out into the wilderness. We’re sure to have them available on our summer camp shop. Check out our First-Aid Kit by clicking right here and keep yourself protected! As always, thanks for reading, Camp Folks!


- John


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