We've tried to ensure the information displayed here is as accurate as possible. Should there be any inaccuracies, we would be grateful if you could let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org . All images and content are copyright.
(Please click on the thumbnail for a bigger image.)
An Elastoplast Tin
By the time that the the above tin ws produced in the early 1970s, Elastoplast was already a widely-respected household name across the world. The bandage came with a set of detailed instructions in both English and French, indicating how it was to be used. According to these, the bandages had "soft, fluffy edges which prevent damage to devitalised skin."
The first Elastoplast dressings were made available in 1930 by T. J. Smith & Nephew, a firm which had become a specialist in the manufacture of different bandages and dressings. The company was founded in 1856 as a small dispensing chemist's in Hull.
After obtaining (from Germany) the British rights to manufacture new and revolutionary bandages, made from a specially woven cloth coated with adhesive, known as Elastoplast, thus Elastoplast dressings as we know them today were born. Though more expensive than others, their new dressings provided a quick and very effective fix. They also introduced a similar plaster of Paris bandage.
Smith & Nephew alerted doctors to their invention in the British Medical Journal in 1929, and Elastoplast was on display at the 1931 London Medical Exhibition. In contrast to modern Elastoplast, the original bandages were marketed only to the medical profession.
In 1946 A waterproof version of the Elastoplast bandage was developed.
In 1968 The giant Unilever conglomerate tried unsuccessfully to purchase S and N.
Smith and Nephew quickly became a multinational corporation. Companies were established in Canada in 1921 and in Australia and New Zealand in the early 1950s. By the late-1990s, S and N also had substantial holdings in Europe and Asia.
Regarding the tin shown above, this is on of many different types of packages that have been produced over the life of Elastiplast.
Ipoh Remembered adds:
The founder was Thomas James Smith. His nephew, who joined the firm just before the founder died, was Horatio Nelson Smith.
And yes, the original product, marketed to doctors and hospitals, appeared in Malaya in the '30s. The consumer-oriented product became available after the war.
More specifically: In Malaya, the company's products were marketed through an agent from the late 1930s until the mid-1970s, when a local subsidiary was founded.