More than an Inventor for Mothers

Today we celebrate a woman who invented a practical and helpful device for moms and babies, the Boater. But Marion Donovan was more than an inventor for mothers. Born with the Right Genes Her father and uncle were inventors, so it’s no surprise that Marion Donovan also becomes an inventor. Born in Fort Wayne, Indiana in 1917, Marion’s first invention was a tooth powder to improve dental hygiene. She created it while in elementary school. She attended Rosemont College in Pennsylvania and in 1939 received her B.A. In English. A Frustrated Mother A post-World War II homemaker, Marion Donovan was frustrated. Her youngest was still in diapers. Cloth diapers required frequent changing and bathing of the baby and laundry sheets and other clothing.  Rubber baby pants were available. Yes, rubber. They were supposed to keep the moisture of wastes contained inside the diaper and the pants. Seepage was common. And the rubber and elastic legs pinched the baby’s skin. And, well, the rubber didn’t allow the baby’s bottom to dry. Chafing and diaper rashes caused terrible discomfort for the baby. The problem was so severe, doctors urged parents not to use rubber pants. Marion sewed something different for her baby. Legend […]

12 Ways to Increase Your Reading Pleasure

You are a reader. Whether you read stories or novels, on paper or on an electronic device, you get pleasure out of reading. But I’ll bet there’s at least one thing you can do to improve your experience. Consider these 12 ways to increase your reading pleasure and let me know if you try one. The unread story is not a story; it is little black marks on wood pulp. The reader, reading it, makes it live: a live thing, a story. Ursula K. Le Guin 1. Decide What to Read What do you want to achieve? Learn something? Be entertained? Be frightened silly? Be encouraged by a hero? Read what you like. Unless it’s a school assignment or a skill-learning attempt, don’t waste time reading what you don’t like. Also read books for your reading level or a bit higher. Don’t know what your reading level is? Go to the library (or an online store like Amazon, Kobo, or B&N for those of us self-quarantining), and look at the first pages of a book that interests you. Your reading level should be a bit uncomfortable (in order to stretch yourself) but not so difficult that you put the book […]

Born to Save Children from Whooping Cough

From childhood, Leila Daughtery-Denmark wanted to heal sick plants, animals, and people. She became a physician in 1928. For more than seventy years, her specialty was pediatrics. She believed doctors were born, not made. Turned out she was born to save children from whooping cough. Early Life The third child of Elerbee and Alice Hendricks Daughtry, Leila Daughtery cried her first cry on February 1, 1990. They lived in what is now Portal, Georgia, USA.  Interested in healing and science, she would take cut flowers and try to heal them. If an animal or one of her eleven siblings were ill, she’d help heal them. She attended local schools, then graduated from the First District Agricultural & Mechanical School, now Georgia Southern University During her senior year at Bessie Tiff College in Forsythe, Georgia she served as a teaching assistant in biology. After two years of teaching she discovered it wasn’t what she wanted to do. An Unplanned Delay Though she’d never seen a woman doctor, but student volunteers spoke about a mission in India. Women in India could not be examined by a male physician. If she needed an exam her husband did it and told the doctor what he’d found. […]