The charming way Johnson & Johnson showed its love to employees in the 1960s
In time for Valentine’s Day, we posed a heartfelt question to Johnson & Johnson’s Chief Historian: What artifact from the archives do you love best?
What is your most beloved item from the Johnson & Johnson archives?
Margaret Gurowitz, Chief Historian: Over the years, the company has given gifts to employees to thank them for their years of service. We believe that this charm bracelet was given to women working in Johnson & Johnson’s consumer business in the 1960s and ‘70s.
I love this particular gift, not just because it’s so cute, but because it was a way for women employees to show their pride in Johnson & Johnson.
We have a few other bracelets in the archives featuring a single charm (like the one shown at right), but this one is really special because it has seven charms on it. We’re not sure, however, if employees had an opportunity to collect or earn charms over time or could just choose different charms when being awarded a bracelet.
The charms on this bracelet showcase health innovations developed over the course of the company’s history, such as first aid cream and BAND-AID® Brand adhesive bandages, which debuted in 1921 and were inspired by one woman’s cooking-related mishaps.
The bracelet is on display in our museum on the New Brunswick corporate campus, and helps tell the story of how our employees are our company’s strength.
The bracelet is on display in our museum on the New Brunswick corporate campus, along with several other rare personal artifacts from employees, that all tell the story of how our employees are our company’s strength.
Also on view is a small silver badge from an employee fire brigade, a ring that was awarded to male employees for either service or success in the sales organization, and even a bolt of cloth that was used to sew the iconic striped uniforms that female manufacturing employees once wore more than 100 years ago.
This charm bracelet, however, is special to me as I think wearing it would be a great way to quietly say, “I’m really proud of the fact that I work for Johnson & Johnson!”