Top 10 Words from Trademarks

Goto next slide#6: Band-aid

In the early 1920s, a woman named Josephine Dickson – who tended to injure herself in the kitchen – grew tired of trying to wrap her cuts with bulky, clumsy gauze.

This inspired her husband, Earle, to invent what became a simpler, sleeker alternative: sterilized, pre-made adhesive bandages. Earle offered them to his employer, Johnson & Johnson – whose marketing triumphs included shipping free Band-aids to the Boy Scouts.

Although the noun Band-aid is still protected under trademark (i.e., "Band-aid brand"), the adjective band-aid is generic. Since 1970, folks have been using such the term in such phrases as "a band-aid solution."

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