Victor von Bruns, a surgeon from Tübingen, had invented a way to degrease cotton, enabling it to absorb more liquid. In 1873, Hartmann began mass-producing and selling this new kind of wound dressing based on von Bruns’ findings, thus radically improving wound care and revolutionizing healthcare.
Equally important for the future of the company was Hartmann’s exchange with the British surgeon Joseph Lister, which started around the same time. Lister was the first person to treat wounds with bandages soaked in carbolic acid, thereby discovering a much more effective form of wound healing. When Hartmann read about these findings, he immediately contacted the surgeon, who then gave him precise instructions on how to produce the dressing material he had developed.
Shortly afterwards, in 1874, the production of Lister’s bandage began, which was soon to become another bestseller at HARTMANN. Even though the two never actually met in person, their lively exchange of letters was an important cornerstone of HARTMANN’s success as a healthcare provider.