Skip to content
HomeLatest newsOur heritageBadge of safety: The story behind Boy Scout first aid kits
Boy Scouts: Film Star Fred Thompson Silver King First Aid Demo Nov 1926

Badge of safety: The story behind Boy Scout first aid kits

The Boy Scouts of America were incorporated on February 8, 1910. To help scouts learn the merits of emergency medical assistance, Johnson & Johnson created custom first aid kits for troops.

Share Article
share to
Boy Scouts 1925 First Aid Kit - Circle Enhancement

Johnson & Johnson started producing first aid kits in 1888 for railroad workers who needed quick and easy access to basic medical supplies. Over time, the company manufactured bespoke kits for everyone from factory workers to soldiers—and even the Boy Scouts of America.

The original 1925 Boy Scout first aid kits were pretty basic: They included a triangular bandage that could be fashioned into a sling, a compress and two safety pins that were packaged in a simple cardboard container.In 1926, the scouts even had silent film star Fred Thomson and his famous horse Silver King demonstrate how to use the kits.

“A few years later, a more sophisticated version of the kits was introduced, containing burn and antibiotic creams, first aid instructions and several different kinds of bandages,” says Margaret Gurowitz, Johnson & Johnson’s in-house historian. “These tin kits could be attached to belt loops—making them practical for camping and hiking.”

By 1932, the company was also producing first aid kits for Girl Scouts—so everyone could earn their first aid merit badges.

When you’ve been innovating for over 135 years …

Johnson & Johnson has a virtual museum where you can learn more fun facts about its rich history.

More from Johnson & Johnson

By the numbers: Understanding dry eye disease

For National Dry Eye Awareness Month, learn about the causes of this common condition and how Johnson & Johnson is helping to find treatment options.

What to know about We All Belong: 2023 DEI Impact Review

The annual report details how Johnson & Johnson is harnessing the power of diversity, equity and inclusion to provide better care around the world.
You are now leaving The site you’re being redirected to is a branded pharmaceutical website. Please click below to continue to that site.