Bandages have been around for a very long time .....think of the Egyptian mummies wrapped in their linen strips or this image of a Greek soldier after battle
Robert would have carried some muslin, or gauze bandages, usually in the form of a four inch wide reel. As well, he would have with him a triangular linen bandage such as the one developed in 1908 by a German surgeon, Frederich von Esmarch. It was imprinted with diagrams and instructions showing fifty ways to use it.
His bag would also contain packages of lint. No, not the stuff from your navel or your dryer. Lint was a soft substance scraped from the surface of linen or flax, and was used to absorb any blood or other discharges from cuts or wounds. The wound was first covered with soft gauze, then packed with lint, then bandaged with a linen or knitted bandage. Children were employed in factories to make lint, and knitting bandages was one of the many jobs women did to contribute to the war effort during WW I. Our modern equivalent of lint is the absorbent cotton that can be purchased in any pharmacy today.
In 1920, an employee of Johnson and johnson created an adhesive bandage with a gauze pad already attached. Since then bandages have changed dramatically. Now, if you have blood work done, you will probably be given a small tuft of absorbent cotton, to be held in place with a strip of breathable paper badage.
To learn more about lint and bandages, go to;