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Some famous women inventors, like Marion Donovan, drew inspiration from the everyday trials of motherhood. As a single mother of two in post-World War II Connecticut, Donovan quickly become frustrated by the thankless, repetitive task of changing her youngest child's soiled cloth diapers, bed sheets and clothing. The resourceful female inventor sat down at her sewing machine with a shower curtain and created a waterproof diaper cover.
Her invention was far superior to the uncomfortable, rash-inducing rubber baby pants that were already on the market. Her next project was a fully disposable diaper, for which she had to fashion a special type of paper that was not only strong and absorbent, but also kept water away from the babies skin.
Surprisingly, nearly every large manufacturer in the country rejected her idea as superfluous and impractical. It was not until nearly a decade later, in 1961, that Victor Mills drew upon Donovan's vision to create Pampers®.