Valerie Hunter Gordon, British inventor, Died at 94

Valerie Hunter Gordon (née Valerie de Ferranti) was born in December 1921, and died on October 16, 2016, in Beauly.

She was the Scottish inventor of the disposable nappy.

Valerie was married to Patrick Hunter Gordon and then living in Surrey, England, she made the first prototype on a Singer sewing machine, from the nylon material used for parachutes.

Gordon was the granddaughter of inventor Sebastian Ziani de Ferranti, the founder of Ferranti.

She began developing and making Paddi in 1947, a 2-part system consisting of a disposable pad (made of cellulose wadding covered with cotton wool) worn inside an adjustable plastic garment with press-studs/snaps.

At first, she used old parachutes for the garment.

Valerie Hunter Gordon applied for the patent in April 1948, and it was granted for the UK in October 1949.

Originally, the big manufacturers were unable to see the commercial possibilities of disposable nappies.

During 1948, Gordon made over 400 Paddies herself using her sewing machine at the kitchen table.

Valerie Hunter Gordon passed away at 94 years old.