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Marion Donovan

DONOVAN, Marion, American, 1917-1998. Initially she was a Beauty Editor for Vogue magazine, but from 1940 was married and raising a family. By 1946 she had designed a waterproof diaper cover (thin plastic). These were unleakable and reusable. Eventually they were made from thin nylon and had metal/plastic snap-on buttons instead of safety pins. A patent was granted in 1951, but by then they were already a success story. However, the diaper cover was only one of the two inventions necessary to solve the whole problem, because diaper rash was still a complication. So Marion then invented a disposable diaper made of paper, which absorbs the moisture and retains it away from the skin. The well-known product Pampers was the commercial result, but it took over a decade for manufacturers to become interested. After studying for a degree in architecture from Yale in 1958, Marion then designed her own house and invented lots of gadgets to go in it. Her final commercial role was as a development consultant.

Disposable Diaper

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Marion Donovan

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