|Marion Donovan (1917-1998) showing the "Boater."|
|The old way: Plastic pants over a cloth diaper.|
Adding plastic snaps and foregoing the traditional safety pins, the "Boater" was born (a fitting description because it did indeed look like a boat). Unlike the old plastic pants, it was waterproof, didn't cause diaper rash, and didn't pinch baby's skin.
|A cloth diaper is inserted into an opening in the Boater|
|Marion with baby Sharon wearing "The Boater."|
|The Miami News, Jul 3, 1949|
Marion later received a patent in 1951, and sold the rights. But this was only the beginning . . . The diaper was still only a cover. Marion wanted a fully disposable diaper, and went to work on a new design. She found a special type of paper that was strong, absorbent, and kept the baby dry. Again, manufacturers pooh-poohed her idea as "impractical" and "superfluous."
Meanwhile, others ran with her original idea for a diaper cover, and hybrids like the Playtex Dryper (1950s) were born. Then, almost a decade later in 1961, Victor Mills used Marion's idea for a disposal product, and manufactured the first real disposable diaper, Pampers . . . but the credit as inventor goes to Marion.
A quote by her son, commenting on his mother's strengths:
"She looked at problems or tasks that had to be done in a traditional way, and said, 'This could be better'."
http://www.metroactive.com/papers/cruz/03.10.99/women5-9910.html (From the March 10-17, 1999 issue of Metro Santa Cruz, Kelly Luker); http://www.women-inventors.com/Marion-Donovan.asp;
Copyright 2015 © Sharon Marie Himsl