RIVALS in the market
(Nappies are called diapers in America)
When I talked to Valerie Hunter Gordon recently, I asked her whether she was sure that Paddi was the first disposable nappy.
Perhaps there had been some other disposable nappy before she invented Paddi?
She looked at me in that way that the very old reserve for ignorant young fools and said
"If there had been something else suitable, then why would I have invented it?
There would have been no need would there?"
"I was a very busy mother, with 3 young children. I would have been delighted to find something else. It would have saved me a lot of time and effort"
It was over 10 years afterwards, in 1961, that Victor Mills created Pampers in America.
During the 1950s, companies such as Johnson and Johnson, Kendall, Parke-Davis, Playtex, and Molnlycke entered the disposable diaper market, and in 1956, Procter & Gamble began researching disposable diapers.
Although Pampers were conceptualized in 1959, the diapers themselves were not launched into the market until 1961.
Over the next few decades, the disposable diaper/nappy industry boomed and the competition between Procter & Gamble's Pampers and Kimberly Clark's Huggies resulted in lower prices and drastic changes to diaper design. Several improvements were made -
The most important being the "All in One " Nappy/Diaper
The introduction of refastenable tapes,
The "hourglass shape" so as to reduce bulk at the crotch area,
The 1984 introduction of super-absorbent material from polymers known as sodium polyacrylate.