In the 1870’s, Freidrich von Esmarch, a German surgeon, developed the idea of a triangular bandage with printed instructions on the bandage itself. The intention was to prevent the loss of life by make it easier for soldiers to perform emergency first aid. The bandages could be used as tourniquets, slings, and to secure splints to broken limbs.
The St. John Ambulance Association was founded in 1877 in England, and was the first company to produce the bandages. Starting in 1890, triangular bandages were included in all first aid kits by the American company Johnson and Johnson, and they were also later produced by Bauer & Black in Chicago. The bandages had illustrations showing anywhere from twenty to forty different ways that it can be worn, and the pictures could be understood easily by everyone.
This particular piece has over 20 different ways to use the triangular bandage, and was made by the St. John Ambulance Association. It is in good condition with some light staining, and the name “Carlill” faintly written on it.
Circa: Late 1870s
Material: Printed cotton
Condition: Very good, with some staining
Dimensions: 54" longest x 28" tall
Inventory number: TX4594