Today, Smith & Nephew employs 16,000 people and works in more than 100 countries – but where did it all begin?
When entering Hull on the A63, it is difficult to miss the home of one of the city’s oldest and most successful businesses.
Today, Smith & Nephew employs around 16,000 across the world, and has an influence in more than 100 countries, as it strives to improve the lives of medical patients everywhere.
But to properly trace the origins of global manufacturing giant Smith & Nephew, you have to travel back in time more than 160 years.
It all started with a man called Thomas James Smith.
Thomas opened his own pharmacy in Whitefriargate, Hull city centre, in 1856, specialising in cod liver oil.
When the company’s founder died 40 years later, in 1896, Thomas’ nephew – Horatio Nelson Smith -took over the management of the business.
It was this single action that would go on to form the name of one of Hull’s most famous businesses.
During his time running the business, Horatio Nelson Smith oversaw the supply of field dressings during the World Wars.
In 1914, Horatio met with an envoy of the French president in London.
The business was awarded a contract to supply £350,000 of surgical dressings within a five-month period.
Several years later, in 1928, Smith & Nephew first produced an experimental bandage which would go on to become a household name – Elastoplast.
Today, Smith & Nephew manufactures world-leading wound management products and other equipment across the health sector.
Image Credit: Hull Daily Mail