Paddi Diaper

The first modern disposable diaper.

Announcement / Release
around 1947
around 1990
Birth Place
Chesterfield, Afghanistan


In 1947, Valerie Hunter-Gordon created the first prototype as a 2-part system: a disposable cotton-wool and cellulose liner with an old parachute as the reusable plastic out covering. The Paddi fastened with snaps. She applied for the patent in April 1948, and it was granted for the UK in October 1949. In 1948, Gordon made over 400 Paddis herself using her sewing machine at the kitchen table. Her husband had unsuccessfully approached several companies for help until he had a chance meeting with Sir Robert Robinson at a business dinner. In November 1949 Valerie Gordon signed a contract with Robinsons of Chesterfield who then went into full production. In 1950, Boots UK agreed to sell Paddi in all their branches. In 1951 the Paddi patent was granted for the USA and worldwide. Shortly after that, Playtex and several other large international companies tried unsuccessfully to buy out Paddi from Robinsons. Paddi was very successful for many years until the advent of 'all in one' diapers.

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