Smith & Nephew: Who they are, what they do and where they’re from

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.

By Phil Winter | Hull Daily Mail (UK)

Image Credit: Hull Daily Mail


About Peter Coffaro 504 Articles
Peter Coffaro is a growth-driven and strategic executive with over 25 years of progressive management success in the medical device industry. With a proven track record and recognized expertise, Peter has established himself as one of the top influencers in medical sales, as acknowledged by prestigious publications such as the World Journal of Orthopedics, Exponential Healthtech, and Throughout his career, Peter has accumulated 10 years of combined sales management experience, excelling in various roles including Director, General Manager, Distributor, and Vice President. He has worked for industry-leading orthopedic companies such as Zimmer, DePuy, and Stryker, solidifying his deep knowledge and network within the field. Peter’s passion for innovation and emerging technologies led him to found OrthoFeed, an award-winning blog covering digital orthopedic news and emerging medical technologies. Through this platform, he stays at the forefront of the industry and contributes to the dissemination of valuable insights. Peter is a three-time Hall of Fame award winner at Johnson and Johnson, demonstrating his exceptional contributions and impact on the organization. His expertise extends to areas such as organizational development, business development, sales management, digital marketing, and professional education. Peter earned a B.S. degree in Biology and Chemistry from Northern Illinois University, further complementing his comprehensive understanding of the medical field. With his wealth of experience, strategic mindset, and dedication to advancing healthcare, Peter Coffaro is a valuable asset and leader in the medical device industry.

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