Skip to main content

How the Band-Aid was invented | Moments of Vision 3 - Jessica Oreck


TEDEd Animation

Let’s Begin…

It is estimated that Johnson & Johnson have made an astounding 100 billion Band-Aids since they were invented in 1920. But where did the idea come from? In the third installment of our ‘Moments of Vision’ series, Jessica Oreck shares the series of moments that inspired Earle Dickson to invent these popular household bandages.

Additional Resources for you to Explore

Band-Aid is a classic example of brand genericization – goods whose brand name has become synonymous with the product, like Kleenex, Q-Tips, and Post-its. Click here for a Band-Aid timeline. This book also offers a comprehensive history of these handy bandages.

Earle Dickson created one of the most resilient products in consumer history: Band-Aids have repeatedly topped consumer trust surveys, supporting the argument that people return to brand names and respond to the idea of products “standing the test of time”. In recent years, Band-Aids have become increasingly personalizedeferencing different characters in pop culture to appeal to tailor its product to certain demographics.

Key words in Band-Aid advertising suggest safety, reliability and durability. Take a look at a classic commercial from the 1950’s here. Then, see how their branding and advertisements have evolved over time here.

The Band-Aid was long manufactured in a single colour termed “flesh”. This article details the lag in the creation of Band-Aids for non-Caucasian skin.

Next Section »

About TED-Ed Animations

TED-Ed Animations feature the words and ideas of educators brought to life by professional animators. Are you an educator or animator interested in creating a TED-Ed Animation? Nominate yourself here »

Meet The Creators

  • Educator Jessica Oreck
  • Director Jessica Oreck
  • Animator Jessica Oreck
  • Composer Eli Janney, Nate Shaw
  • Narrator Jessica Oreck

More from Inventions that Shape History