Back to Home
CHAPTER8

We Made WHAT??

Profile picture for user mgurowi
By MargaretGurowitz
Jul 20, 2006

Along with its more famous products, the Company made some lesser-known and more unusual products in its early days. One of these products was Vino Kolafra, a restorative tonic made from kola nut extract with a sherry base.

Vino Kolafra Ad

The formation of the Coca-Cola Company in 1893 and its subsequent advertising campaigns helped spark interest in tonic preparations among the population of the United States. Johnson & Johnson introduced Vino Kolafra in 1894, advertising it as a calmer of nerves, an imparter of strength, a convalescent aid and as encouraging workers to “do more work with less effort and better results. Vino Kolafra was discontinued when it was discovered that workers were indeed doing more than expected: they were sampling the sherry base in increasing quantities.

Vino Kolafra Bottle and Packaging

Although Mosquitoons would win the prize for most humorous product name, they addressed a serious health concern. Mosquitoons were pyramid-shaped fumigators designed to kill mosquitoes, which were disease carriers as well as pests. Users were instructed to light them and then leave the house. The package reassured purchasers that Mosquitoons would not harm metal or clothing…leaving us to draw our own conclusions about the unintended effects of other pest removal products on the market at that time!

mosquitoons070.gif

 

One of the strangest things Johnson & Johnson made were Court Plasters, which were little beauty spots made from leftover materials used to make medicated plasters. The Company would take a small amount of this material and make it into stars, moons and other shapes, which women put on their face to accentuate what they considered their most beautiful feature. Pictures of early theater and film actresses often show them wearing beauty spots – which look like moles, but on closer inspection are little stick-on dots, stars and crescents.

Example of Beauty Spots

Share this article

Full name will be displayed as entered.

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
  • Web page addresses and email addresses turn into links automatically.
By submitting your comments, you agree that your comments may be made available to the public. All comments will be reviewed before posting, and if approved, will be shared publicly on the site. Please do not include any information and/or comments that you would like to remain private. Since this blog is about history, topics that don’t directly relate to the history of Johnson & Johnson and its operating companies won’t be posted.. Issues not related to the history of J&J, including any product complaints, will be forwarded to the appropriate Johnson & Johnson team for follow-up as appropriate. This site will not publish any comments that have inappropriate language... so be nice! We will use the information you submit in accordance with our  Privacy Policy.