Johnson & Johnson Ltd. First Field Dressing

Maker and role
Johnson & Johnson Ltd.: Manufacturer
Production date
Audio tour

See full details


In 1944 Johnson & Johnson Ltd were one of the global manufacturers of First Field Dressings. The Field Dressing originated in the Crimean War, but their medical capabilities only became known by the Second World War, by which time injured soldiers self-administered the field dressings to their wounds. Although this type of medical treatment was not the most effective it certainly was the most immediate.

Through the conflict of the Second World War it was discovered that the initial application of the First Field Dressing to a wound increased a soldier’s chance of survival.

On a personal level I was intrigued by the simplicity and the functionality of the First Field Dressings. The object was reduced to a small sealed bag containing bandages and a gauze pad with room for printed instructions on the front. Although the First Field Dressings were minimal and unimpressive in appearance, they possessed a powerful significance in the past and in the present. The First Field Dressings represent the fragility of life and the constant conflict between life and death.

Audio recording by Amy Robertson (Volunteer), Edinburgh.
Collection Type
Production Place
One of a number of items which belonged to Miss Dawtrey Mary Goldsmith who served with the British Red Cross during the Second World War.
Catalogue Number

Explore by colours

Place Made