Do You Have a Piece of Johnson & Johnson History?
Alert blog readers may remember that we put out a call for historical Johnson & Johnson artifacts on April 23rd. Why are we looking for historical artifacts? We’re restoring and revitalizing our Museum, and are hoping to fill in some gaps with your help. Since Johnson & Johnson has been part of people’s lives since 1886, we recognize that many pieces of our history are pieces of your history as well – and that many people preserve not only historical J&J artifacts, but stories from ancestors and family members who have worked here. Our call for Johnson & Johnson historical artifacts and stories continues this week, with a takeover of @JNJNews, @JNJCares, @JNJParents and @JNJHistory Twitter handles, our corporate Facebook page, Google+ and, of course, this blog. So…do you or a member of your family hold a piece of Johnson & Johnson history, or a story from our history? If you do, please let us know by emailing us at [email protected], or contact me through this blog.
We’ve received some amazing pieces of J&J history (artifacts as well as stories) so far, and we’d love to hear from more of you. Special recognition goes to C.W., a Johnson & Johnson Family of Companies employee in Livingston, Scotland, for being the very first person to answer the call! Her reply brought us one of the coolest and rarest Johnson & Johnson historical artifacts in existence: a Zonweiss Clock! (How rare is it? This blogger, who’s seen many, many rare Johnson & Johnson historical artifacts, had never seen one before. Ever.)
Zonweiss tooth cream was our first consumer product 128 years ago – a tooth cream whose ads said it would make your teeth sparklingly white -- and the Company had alarm clocks produced as a promotional item for the product, showing a woman brushing her teeth with Zonweiss. From the looks of it, our new very old Zonweiss Clock is perhaps from the 1890s or the first decade of the 1900s. And believe it or not, the alarm on the clock still works – how cool is that!
J.M. brought us another artifact that we didn’t have in our archives – a Lister’s Fumigator, an early Johnson & Johnson public health product. The Lister’s Fumigator (named in honor of Sir Joseph Lister, the father of modern antiseptic surgery) was designed to help prevent the spread of contagious diseases like typhoid and diphtheria in the era before and antibiotics and most vaccines. Although we had drawings of the product in our historical price lists and other publications, we didn’t have an actual Lister’s Fumigator, and we’re happy to welcome this artifact back to Johnson & Johnson!
Here’s the full list of some of the specific items we’re looking for. One of those items is a wooden Johnson & Johnson shipping crate – which was used to ship our products before the era of cardboard boxes. If anyone has one of these items, or other items from our history, or if you had a parent, or grandparent, or great-grandparent who worked for Johnson & Johnson, please share your story with us – we’d love to hear it!
Next post – some rare historical consumer products from our call for archives, and a surprising story. Stay tuned! And for everyone else who holds a piece of Johnson & Johnson history, we'd love to hear from you! The email address again is [email protected].