Pioneers of Pharma


Good Find Stores sees plenty of unique items and beautiful art. Every once  in a while we get something truly remarkable that makes us stop to appreciate its rich history or rarity. The piece featured in this week's blog is a truly fascinating piece of American history. A medkit from the Johnson & Johnson company from the 30’s! A portable first aid kit to store and have readily available in your car, aptly named Autokit. This was Johnson & Johnson’s response to the increasing popularity of automobiles. This small black tin came equipped with a couple rolls of gauze, Ammonia, burn ointment, and other common items you might find in a first aid box. Naturally when researching items to price them for online listings, you sometimes get caught up in the history of it. Johnson & Johnson is a storied corporation whose legacy is 130 years in the making.

 The company Johnson & Johnson was founded in New Brunswick, NJ January 1886. The company was founded by three brothers Robert Wood Johnson, Edward Wood Johnson, and James Wood Johnson. According to pharmaphorum.com the three brothers were inspired to develop a ready to use surgical dressing. Supposedly what had spurred this passion for antiseptic precautions was a speech they had heard delivered by Joseph Lister who was a prominent antiseptic advocate. One thing was sure: one of the pillars of their business would be innovation in the field of medicine which was and always will be very needed. The Johnson brother’s company went on to distribute the first commercial first aid kits. Another factoid from pharmaphorum.com, is the kits were originally only intended for railroad workers but were wildly popular and became regular practice for treating injuries.

In the midst of the Spanish American war the military reached out to Johnson & Johnson for medical supplies. They also were contracted by the military once again shortly after the first World War to make better medi packs for the soldiers. JnJ.com recalls that these medkits were appropriately named Carlisle Kits because of the Carlisle Barracks Army installation where they were first conceived.

While I'm writing this, someone is getting the COVID-19 vaccine produced by Johnson & Johnson right now. This company has been around a long time and has a storied history. To have one of it’s old relics from 90 years ago is what adds value to me writing about it.

When I look at the small rusted AutoKit I feel as if it's an important part of history. It’s always fun when I can take something like an old rusty first aid kit and see the importance of where it came from and why it was made. We see so much variety in the products we get, it could be one of a kind art or an everyday piece of furniture. Every week there is almost always a piece that I’m glad I got to learn about. This is my last week at Good Find Stores, I’ve been working here since June and it's been a gratifying experience. I didn’t see myself working here for the summer but I’m glad fate had its way. With all the constant turmoil the world seems to be in, it was priceless to have practice finding beauty in the mundane task of listing inventory. I will continue to try to find the beauty in everything life has to offer and I would encourage anyone to do the same. Peace and Love from Good Find Stores.

If you enjoy our content and want to support, please subscribe to the newsletter and follow us on socials to see all of our treasures.


Leave a comment


Please note, comments must be approved before they are published