History of the corporation
Brothers James and Edward Mean Johnson founded their medical products company in 1885 in New Brunswick, New Jersey. In 1886 Robert Wood Johnson joined his brothers to make the antiseptic surgical dressing he developed, with 14 employees on the fourth floor of a small building that once was a wallpaper factory. In 1887, the company was incorporated as Johnson and Johnson. Johnson and Johnson entered the surgical dressing industry with few hospitals in the United States that were large enough to use Lister's methods of antisepsis. The first products were improved medicinal plasters containing medical compounds mixed in an adhesive. "In 1888 the company published the book, "Modern Methods of Antiseptic Wound Treatment", which for many years remained the standard text on antiseptic practices."1 In 1891, in response to a doctor's complaint of patient skin irritation caused by the company's plasters, the company sent a container of Italian talc to soothe the skin.
This talc was soon sold as Johnson's Baby Powder, to this day remains one of the most recognized and trusted products in the world. In 1899 Johnson and Johnson introduced the zinc oxide type of adhesive plaster. "Because of its greater Strength and quick- sticking quality, this type of plaster became an important adjunct of surgery; it meant relief to patients because irritation to delicate skin was avoided."2 In 1921 it introduced two of its classic products, The Band-Aid and Johnson's Baby Cream. In 1924, Johnson and Johnson created its first overseas affiliate, Johnson and Johnson Ltd., in Great Britain. Over time, Johnson and Johnson created affiliates in more than 50 countries.
Robert Johnson Jr. became Chairmen in 1932 and served until 1963. He was a WWII Army general, he believed in decentralization; managers were given substantial freedom, a principle still used today...