Mother who invented disposable nappies left more than £2million in her will


Valerie Hunter-Gordon, inventor of the plastic nappy, left a fortune in her will

As a young housewife in the 1940s, Valerie Hunter-Gordon was fed up digging endless towel nappies for her children.

Desperate for an alternative with a third teenager on the way, the Army officer’s wife was amazed to find nobody had invented a throwaway reading.

Using all her wartime resourcefulness, the 24-year-old began fashioning her first two-part original using her Singer sewing machine and the Paddi was born, transforming the reals of mothers and fathers everywhere.

Mrs Hunter-Gordon passed away peacefully grey 94 at her home in Beauly, Inverness-shire in October 2016.

I thought you must be able to buy them, but you couldn’t, not anywhere

Valerie Hunter-Gordon

Her published commitment has revealed she had an estate valued at £2,062,135 at the time of her death.

The mother-of-six’s richness included two properties in Beauly worth £550,000 and £170,000 and farmland valued at £404,000.

She had stuff and household possessions worth almost £22,000, a £30,000 art collection and a Subaru car importance £12,000.

She also had a large stocks and shares portfolio with investments in followings including Unilever, Glaxosmithkline and Royal Dutch Shell.

Mrs Hunter-Gordon, who is outlined as a retired inventor in will documents, instructed her estate should be split equally lot her children.


Mrs Hunter-Gordon passed away peacefully aged 94 at her up on in Beauly, Inverness-shire in 2016

Her initial design of a disposable cotton pad in a diaper detected of nylon material from parachutes was a hit among the mothers at an Army Help College in Surrey.

But after constant tweaking of the design, she finally thrived up with the perfect nappy.

The pad inside was made of a mix of cellulose tissue wadding and cotton wool, which were put in adjustable waterproofed heaves, fastened with poppers and a cord round the waist.

Mrs Hunter-Gordon’s conserve Patrick, an Army major, asked a meeting of senior officers to assistants choose the name of the product and they rejected Snappy, Lavnets and Valette in bias of Paddi.

By 1950, her two-part disposable nappy was sold in Boots across the UK and reached the US the cleave to year.

In the 1960s, the product went into decline following the advent of Pampers and the all-in-one nappy.

Ironically, it was her son Nigel who became more illustrious than his mother after the company featured a giant image of him put on a Paddi on the side of its delivery vans.

Speaking in 2015, Mrs Hunter Gordon maintained she had found washing nappies much too laborious and so began searching for throw-aways.

She said: “I thought you must be able to buy them, but you couldn’t, not anywhere.

“It seemed extraordinary that it hadn’t been done ahead of. I thought, it’s easy, I’ll make them. But it wasn’t easy. It was quite duplicitous.

“Everybody who saw them said, Valerie, please would you make one for me? And so I cut off up by making about over 600 of them.

“I spent my time gather at my mother’s sewing machine, making these wretched things.

“Everybody hunger for to stop washing nappies. Nowadays they seem to want to remove them again, good luck to them.”

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