'First Field Dressing' comprising rolled cloth bandage and gauze pad sealed within a cloth bag, inscribed with the date 'December 1942'.

Dressings like this were intended to be carried by soldiers for use in the field during World Wars I and II, and possibly for home front emergency and training use. This example may have been used for demonstration purposes.

The dressing was made by Johnson & Johnson Pty Ltd of Sydney, in or before December 1942. Johnson & Johnson Pty Ltd is a health care company founded in 1886. The company first came to Australia in 1906 and continues to produce medical supplies across the country. In 1942 it placed an advertisement in the Perth Sunday Times, including that it was 'filling the demands of the Australian Forces and of the National Emergency Services for many types of surgical dressings and medical equipment. This company is the major contractor to the Navy, Army and Air Force Departments for Field Dressings, Shell Dressings, Hospital Dressings, Cotton Wool, Surgical Catgut and Adhesive Plasters of many types. Of over 800 employees, the majority are now engaged in the essential contribution made by Johnson & Johnson to the national war effort.' The advertisement apologizes for possible shortages of its other products, including Johnson's baby powder, Tek toothbrushes and Modess sanitary napkins. (13 September 1942)

Physical Description

Unopened square packet covered in off-white cotton (or similar), apparently containing a bandage and gauze pad. The front of the package is printed with an inscription identifying it as a 'First Field Dressing' along with a list of contents and instructions for use. Text crossed with diagonal red arrow.

More Information

  • Collecting Areas

    Medicine & Health, Public Life & Institutions

  • Acquisition Information

    Donation from (Estate of) Mr John F. McCrohan, Martin Williams - Red Cross, 20 Aug 2013

  • Manufacturer

    Johnson & Johnson, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, Dec 1942

  • Inscriptions

    Printed in blue ink on the front of the package: 'FIRST FIELD DRESSING / Tear apart the uncemented corner as indicated / by the arrow and remove the paper. / Take the folded ends of the bandage in each / hand, and, keeping the bandage taut, apply the / gauze pad to the wound, and fix the bandage. / In the case of head wounds when respirators have / to be worn, care should be taken to adjust the pad / so that it does not interfere with the fit of the face / piece. / DO NOT HANDLE THE GAUZE OR WOUND / Johnston + Johnson / PTY. LTD. SYDNEY / DECEMBER, 1942'.

  • Classification

    Military history, Service, Medical patients & treatment

  • Category

    History & Technology

  • Discipline


  • Type of item


  • References

    Advertising. (1942, September 13). Sunday Times (Perth, WA : 1902 - 1954), p. 7 Supplement: SUPPLEMENT TO "THE SUNDAY TIMES". Retrieved January 14, 2015, from [Link 1]

  • Keywords

    World War II, 1939-1945