On to 2005, 2006, 2007…. sigh

Our disposable diaper history ends in 2004 and I have to say that I’m glad it’s over. I still think the concept was fun and the actual history extremely interesting, but researching the topic took way too much time. I’m not writing about anything else that I can’t directly observe, namely Trixie.

The problem is that each uncovered fact would take me in a whole new research direction. For example, I found just one tiny, tantalizing fact about how one of the original Luvs designers had worked on the Gemini space program. I thought this was a great piece of information. I tried to find out more about NASA’s contribution to the disposable diaper, and ultimately found nothing — but not before I wasted a lot of time googling.

Now that we’ve looked back on 58 years of disposable history, let’s hear from you. Voice your opinion in the latest poll.

Also, if anyone is looking for more information, here’s a list of sites used to compile the facts for this timeline. I highly recommend the first one:

Smaller. The disposable diaper and the meaning of progress
The New Yorker article

The Poop on Eco-Friendly Diapers
wired.com article

The Politics of Diapers
Mothering Magazine article

Marion Donovan Papers
National Museum of American History article | image 1 | image 2

Diaper Dance: Rise of the Disposable
Today’s Parent.com article

Quest for perfect diaper hasn’t ended
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel article

A Diaper History
Absormex article | timeline

A look at the latest trends and developments
Nonwovens Industry article

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5 Responses to On to 2005, 2006, 2007…. sigh

  1. Dave says:


    I just wanted to let you know I thought the whole series was great. Is the info on telemetry still due on May 15th… my first child is due in about 7 months and I sure want something like this!


  2. benmac says:

    Well, technically, yes, the detailed announcement is still scheduled for May 15th (this Saturday), but let’s just say that it’s a good thing your baby isn’t due for another 7 months.

  3. jonvoss says:

    hey Ben, i like the diaper research here. i’ve missed any conversation you’ve had on disposable vs. washable, so i thought i’d add $.02. we moved from san francisco to durham in 2000 (for my work) when our son was 3 months old, and were pleased to find a really good diaper service in the triangle (i forget the name, but i think it’s the only one there really–and the key to washable diapers is buying 2 of these plastic clip things made in south africa–let me know if anyone is looking for them and can’t find them). we went that way for awhile until a lot of travelling and diaper rash helped us discover nature boy & girl disposables (which i could only get on drugstore.com for awhile there). prior to that, we thought tushies was the only option on the more environmentally friendly tip, but they pretty much suck. our son is out of diapers now (thank god–what a relief that is), but being back in sf where we have weekly curbside yardwaste/compost pickup, i think i would use nature boy and girls and dump them in the compost bin. but that is an untested theory.

    though it’s off the subject of diapers, i have to add one thing about babies and living in durham. the health care and dentistry options there are unbeatable and it’s something we’ve really missed since coming back to sf. we went to a holistic healthcare facility in durham called “bridges to health” where they have 2 traditional family practice md’s as well as a massage therapist, accupuncturist, and herbalist. we all went there for all of our medical needs and they were the best. our son has a lot of allergies and it was great to be able to use traditional and herbal remedies to help find the best solution. you’d think we could find something like that in san francsisco, but it just doesn’t exist. i have lots of other raves about bridges to health, and we had a great dentist too, but no need to post them here. but y’all are very lucky there to have the medical facilities that you have. except for the duke emergency room, but that’s another story.

    peace, jon

  4. amy says:

    heya — we’re using disposables for the first time (our Liesl’s six days younger than Trixie) because the daycare co-op doesn’t allow cloth. I have to say I’m impressed, though not impressed enough to quit using the Fuzzi Bunz the rest of the time. If she got sick and had diarrhea again, we’d use disposables, though, I think. They’ve come a long way since the 70s.

    We started the cloth-diaper experiment fully expecting to hate it and switch to disposables, but it just wasn’t that hard. Or smelly. Nothing extra on the water/sewer, though I’m sure we’ve spent some extra on water heating. I sold all her used (and washed) newborn and size-small dipes on eBay, so total diapering expenses for the first 5 months was around $30, not counting the disposable wipes.


  5. Mary says:

    I’m another KK visitor. What fun! I guess we were among the first “consumers” of disposable diapers. We were making a trip with a new baby in 1959. What struck me at the time was that there was never anyplace to dispose of the insulted diapers. I still have the same opinion. PLEASE don’t just leave them on the ground!!!!