Inventors are inspirational. Marion Donovan was an inventor and much more at different times in her life. She is best known for inventing a waterproof diaper cover and disposable diapers.
Marion Donovan was born on October 15, 1917 in Fort Wayne, Indiana. When she was seven years old, her mother died. This led to Marion spending time at the manufacturing plant where her father and uncle worked. They were both inventors as well. They invented an industrial lathe and then developed and ran South Bend Lathe Works.
Marion received a BA in English literature from Rosemont College in 1939. She went to work as an editor for Harper’s Bazaar & Vogue. She married James F. Donovan in 1942. They moved Cincinnati, Ohio and had two children. The time she spent washing diapers, bedding, and her children’s clothing led to her inventing a waterproof diaper cover. In 1949, she sold her invention, which she named the “boater”, to Saks Fifth Avenue. She received her waterproof diaper cover’s patent in 1951. She received 4 patents for changes she made in diaper design and manufacturing.
In 1958, she received a Masters degree from the Architecture School of Yale University. She moved to Westport, Connecticut. She, also, got a divorce from her first husband and married John F. Butler. During her life she continued inventing and received 20 patents. She invented many convenience items including the DentaLoop in 1985. She died on November 4, 1998 in New York. Marion Donovan was remembered by her induction into the National Inventors Hall of Fame in 2015. Be inspired! Have a bright day!