Necessity is the mother of invention -- especially when there's blood involved. Case in point: Earle Dickson loved his accident-prone wife, so he hated to see her repeatedly going into the kitchen to cook, only to emerge with an injured hand. It was the 1920s, so the best remedy at the time was to tie some fabric around the injury and soldier on.
Luckily for the New Jersey couple, Earle worked for Johnson & Johnson, so it was easy to come home with some adhesive tape, antiseptic cotton gauze, and set to work on a cure. And voilà, the Band-Aid was born. Dickson went to his boss with his invention, and by 1921, the first official Band-Aid brand adhesive bandages became available. It took a few years for people to grasp the novelty -- and brilliance -- of the product, but soon Dickson's home remedy became a staple in household medicine cabinets everywhere.
The inventive mind:
- The man who invented the microwave did so after walking past a radar tube and finding his chocolate bar melted.
- The Swiss inventor of Velcro came up with the idea after finding a bunch of burrs stuck to his clothing after walking his dog.
- Alfred Nobel created the Nobel Prize after reading the (obviously) false report of his death in a newspaper.