Kilmer House
October 7, 2008 11:17 AM   Subscribe

Kilmer House, the most engrossing corporate-based blog I've ever experienced, tells "The Story Behind Johnson & Johnson and Its People", from the days of the company's inception. Posts include strange products like silk and velvet Beauty Spots, a sherry-based cola drink, pain relievers laced with belladonna and kidney plasters; the difficulty marketing early feminine products to a prudish society; Doctor Dan the Bandage Man; why J & J is allowed to use the Red Cross on its packaging; and the iconic artistry behind the company's early ad campaigns.
posted by misha (9 comments total) 17 users marked this as a favorite

Ooh these are interesting. Thanks!
posted by rmless at 11:36 AM on October 7, 2008

See also Born Rich.

"Born Rich is a 2003 documentary about the experience of growing up as a child in one of the world's richest families. It was created by Jamie Johnson, heir to the Johnson & Johnson fortune."

My favorite part, and there are many, is when Jamie Johnson's father suggest (while sitting around in a beautiful home library) he do something with his life. Something like map collecting.
posted by plexi at 11:37 AM on October 7, 2008

Born Rich was a great movie. Can't seem to get the website right now.
posted by parmanparman at 11:43 AM on October 7, 2008

Interesting stuff! I like the "Modess" slogan in the "early feminine products" link: "so infinitely finer."
posted by brundlefly at 11:48 AM on October 7, 2008

That is an interesting site -- though slow to load because of all the graphics. But worth it for good design and interesting info. Thanks. I liked the Modess "Silent Purchase Coupon."
posted by binturong at 11:55 AM on October 7, 2008

Modess is definitely the most fascinating thing there. But the whole thing's pretty neat.
posted by Tehanu at 11:58 AM on October 7, 2008

Don't forget Band-Aid brand adhesive bandages, the first sterile surgical dressing and, of course, dental floss.
posted by caddis at 12:13 PM on October 7, 2008

Richard Powers' Novel Gain tells the rise of a Pharmaceutical/household products concern (such as J&J) as a parable for modern capitalism . It's an amazing read, and there are clear overlaps w/the info here....
posted by lalochezia at 1:59 PM on October 7, 2008

What an awesome find! I, too, was drawn in by the topic of feminine hygiene products. It's really interesting to see how the marketing of them has evolved since then. No doubt in 25 or 30 more years there will be no more beating around the bush (pardon the unintended pun) about it. I envision it going a little something like this:

Adolescent girl: Mom, I'm bleeding out of my vagina!
Spunky mom: Oh, sweetie, your first period! [chuckles]. Here's one of my tampons for you to use.
Adolescent girl: [looks quizically at mom]
Spunky mom: It's easy sweetie. Don't be afraid! Just cram it on up there.

VOICEOVER: And they're super-absorbent so you don't mess up your best thong underwear!
[short clip of cutaway tampon wicking up red liquid]

Adolescent girl: Yay! Tampons rule!
posted by brain cloud at 5:12 PM on October 7, 2008

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