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Museum Week 2015: Guess the Johnson & Johnson Mystery Items!

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By Margaret Gurowitz
Mar 26, 2015

This week is #MuseumWeek, a global celebration of museums on Twitter. Johnson & Johnson is proud to participate in Museum Week this year for the first time, and we’ve been sharing some of our museum secrets, favorites, iconic products, and cool things. As part of that, we asked people to identify five mysterious items from the Johnson & Johnson Museum. Here are the mystery items:  

  And here are the answers and some background on each item!

  Mystery Item #1:   Although Johnson & Johnson didn’t invent this item, we were the first to mass produce it in 1898, making it affordable for the first time. Before nylon was developed, it was made from silk, which was what made it expensive. Today, it’s part of recommended daily oral health routines. What is it? It’s dental floss!  

  Mystery Item #2: Alert history fans will note part of a very familiar logo on the left side of the image – a logo that families have had in their homes for generations. If you guessed BAND-AID® Brand Adhesive Bandages, you would be correct! This image shows a BAND-AID® Brand Adhesive Bandages tin from the early 1960s – one of our most popular and iconic tins. (By the way, did you know that BAND-AID® Brand Adhesive Bandages were the first pre-made commercial dressing for small wounds? The product was such a new concept that we had to show people how to use it.)  

  Mystery Item #3: this item went on the market in 1894, the result of conversations with doctors and parents. Since then it’s become a global icon and led to the creation of one of the oldest heritage businesses at Johnson & Johnson. It’s JOHNSON’S® Baby Powder, in a tin from the 1890s.  

  Mystery Item #4: This image shows the company’s first beauty product, something that was wildly popular in the 1910s. What is it? Beauty Spots! Beauty Spots were small adhesive shapes – moons, stars, dots, hearts – that women put on their faces a century ago. Not only did Johnson & Johnson make beauty spots, we also provided tiny tins so that women could carry extra beauty spots in case they needed to reapply one.  

  Mystery Item #5: This mystery item is another part of modern life resulting from a conversation, between company founder Robert Wood Johnson and a railroad surgeon. It’s a First Aid Kit. Johnson & Johnson made the first commercial First Aid Kits in 1888. The idea came from the need to treat injured railroad workers and, within a few short years, the company was producing First Aid Kits for homes, workplaces, public buildings, travelers and more.

We hope you enjoyed identifying the Johnson & Johnson mystery items and learning the stories behind them. They’re just a small part of the stories we’re telling during Museum Week, and as we restore the Johnson & Johnson Museum.  

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