Beach days, bike riding and let's not forget lots of BBQ. Certain traditions are just synonymous with summer vacation—and for more than 130 years, Johnson & Johnson has created products that have gone hand in hand with safe summer fun.
With company historianas our guide, we're taking you on a historical road trip of inventions that have helped vacationers make the most of the summer season.
Image courtesy of Johnson & Johnson Archives1887
Whether you've had one too many hot dogs at the ballpark or overindulged on a summer cruise, indigestion can easily derail a day meant for R&R. In the late 1800s, Johnson & Johnson stepped in to help by creating tablets that contained stomach-soothing extracts of papaya enzymes. A later product, Johnson's? Digestive Tablets, also featured papaya extract, notes Gurowitz.Read More
Image courtesy of Johnson & Johnson Archives1889
Red Cross? Kidney Plasters
Cycling tours were a big draw in the late 1800s, and along with the new sights and sounds experienced on the road came new aches and pains.
Fortunately, Johnson & Johnson introduced Red Cross? Kidney Plasters, which were rubber medicated patches that helped alleviate pain. Their distinctive kidney shape made them ideal for dealing with lower back soreness (as shown at right).
“The plasters were also popular with hikers and other kinds of athletes,” Gurowitz adds.Read More
Image courtesy of Johnson & Johnson Archives1902
Bloodthirsty insects can easily put a damper on your vacation. Prior to the invention of bug spray, people turned to Mosquitoons kits from Johnson & Johnson. Each kit contained small candles that produced fumes designed to combat mosquitoes.Read More
Image courtesy of Johnson & Johnson Archives1904
Lister’s Sanitary Diapers
Johnson & Johnson was responsible for pioneering disposable diapers, says Gurowitz. Its debut product was made from layers of absorbent cotton, cellulose sheets and gauze—and it was sterilized to help ward off disease.
So what's the vacation connection? Lister's Sanitary Diapers was marketed as being “indispensable when taking baby out for the day or when traveling,” Gurowitz notes.Read More
Image courtesy of Johnson & Johnson Archives1932
This was the first BAND-AID? Brand adhesive bandage specifically designed to protect your skin from water, notes Gurowitz. DryBak bandages featured an innovative waterproof coating with a strong adhesive to keep them from curling or becoming soggy.
“The great thing about these and other bandages from Johnson & Johnson at the time,” she adds, “was that, in addition to being sold in tins, they were available in small packets that could easily fit into a pocket.”Read More
Image courtesy of Johnson & Johnson Archives1956
Johnson & Johnson First Aid Cream
Smart travelers knew to prepare for minor vacation scrapes and scratches by packing a tube of this soothing, greaseless cream that contained protective emollients to help shield wounds from infection.Read More
Image courtesy of Johnson & Johnson Archives1961
Marine First Aid Kit
This waterproof, buoyant kit was a must-have on the high seas: It contained medications for seasickness and heat exhaustion—as well as Johnson & Johnson's then newly developed Resusitube? Airway, an S-shaped plastic tube that could help revive victims of drowning.
The Marine First Aid Kit was one in a long line of specialized kits that the company produced after founder Robert Wood Johnson created the original first aid kit in 1888.Read More
Image courtesy of Johnson & Johnson Archives1976
Sun worshipping was still a popular pastime in the 1970s, and the need to wear sunscreen to protect your skin was just becoming better understood. Enter Sundown? sunscreen.
“It’s an example of Johnson & Johnson's forward-looking approach,” explains Gurowitz, “as it was the first product on the market to offer water-resistant UV protection.”Read More
Image courtesy of Johnson & Johnson Archives1993
1-Day Acuvue? Brand Contact Lenses
Travel got a lot easier for corrective lens wearers with the launch of these very first daily disposable contact lenses. For vacationers, this meant you didn’t need to pack additional contact lens cleaning and storage products—you could just pop in new lenses every morning and go.Read More
Achoo! Fighting off a reaction to summer allergies got easier when Zyrtec? became available as an over-the-counter, 24-hour treatment in 2008. The medication helps relieve indoor and outdoor allergy symptoms, including sneezing, runny nose and watery eyes.Read More
Johnson & Johnson still has your back on vacation—literally in the case of sun protection products like Neutrogena? Ultra Sheer? Liquid Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 70. Summer first aid essentials are also a mainstay to this day—including BAND-AID? Brand HYDRO SEAL? waterproof bandages—and eye care, too, with the brand-new, first-of-their-kind Acuvue? Oasys with Transitions? Light Intelligent Technology? contact lenses, which darken automatically when exposed to bright light.Read More