Robert Wood Johnson was inspired after hearing a British surgeon's speech citing airborne germs as the leading cause of infections in hospitals. In 1886, he launched his own operation. He formed a partnership with his two brothers and began making antiseptic surgical dressings in a former wallpaper factory in New Jersey. Johnson & Johnson developed a loyal following among both large hospitals and smalltown doctors, but the business wasn't big enough for the three of them. After a falling out, Edward Mead Johnson started his own firm making infant nutrition products. In 1967, Mead Johnson & Co. was acquired by Bristol-Myers Co., one of J&J's biggest competitors.
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