The Vernaid bandage has links to the beginnings of organized first-aid delivery on the battlefield. Originally invented in Switzerland, the triangular bandage was popularized by Friederich von Esmarch (1823–1908), Surgeon General of the German Army during the Franco-Prussian war. Able to be folded in multiple configurations, the triangular form served to cover injuries on nearly any part of the body as well as an arm sling. By the early twentieth century, first-aid organizations in England, including the British Red Cross and the St. John Ambulance Association, produced their own versions of the instructional triangular bandage. This example includes an endorsement by Sir James Cantlie (1851–1926), an authority on the training of ambulance services and first aid for civilians. Portable and more likely than paper to survive the rigors of an emergency, the Vernaid offered clear illustrations and simple directions for stabilizing broken limbs and tying tourniquets.

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