Countless inventions have been introduced into the lives of modern Americans to make things easier for us. Some of these inventions are the big ones that people think about most, like the iPhone, the washing machine, and the television. However, some American inventions are far more modest, though perhaps equally impactful.
Consider the invention of the simple Band Aid. Prior to its creation, most people relied on surgical tape, which is widely credited to Dr. Horace Day. He first began applying a rubber adhesive to strips of fabric in 1845 to help him treat his patients. However, this primitive adhesive had its limitations. Josephine Dickson was the young wife of a New Jersey cotton buyer for Johnson and Johnson. Josephine’s skills as a housewife were less than stellar, which is why she seemed to fall victim to her own kitchen knife more times than she cared to admit.
Her husband Earle noticed that the surgical tape that his wife applied to her cut finger kept falling off, so he put a little gauze on some cloth-backed tape covered in crinoline. Just like that, the lives of housewives, roughhousing children, and injury-prone persons everywhere were changed for the better as Band Aids became an American staple. The lives of Earle and Josephine Dickinson were changed as well, because Earle was named a Vice President of Johnson and Johnson for his discovery.
The late Phyllis Schlafly often pointed to the American patent system as being among the greatest advancements for women in world history. Thanks to our patent system, women were no longer relegated to spending their entire days washing clothes by hand, sewing by hand, and doing other back-breaking chores. The invention of the Band Aid is an excellent example of this innovation. A housewife had a problem. An inventor fixed that problem. He and his company profited, and people everywhere benefit from his genius. America was the first nation in the world to create such a system where inventors are protected to profit from their discoveries, and our nation has been richly blessed because of this system. Let’s protect our U.S. patents.