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 […]

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. […]

One of the First Women on the National Ski Patrol

Empowered women come in all sizes, shapes, colors, and interests. Patty (Tasker) Morris is such a woman. We know little about Patty. But we know she was, if not the first, one of the first women on the National Ski Patrol. First Skis Patty Tasker got her first pair of skis from her father when she was five. In the early 1900s, people who loved to ski joined Ski Clubs. Resorts were rare and ski lifts were nonexistent. You climbed the mountain you wanted to ski. But Patty didn’t mind. She loved to ski. She said, “I didn’t like to ever take them off.” At 18, Patty moved from Brattleboro to Burlington, Vermont, in the late 1930s to work for the government. In 1937, a friend of Patty’s kept telling her about a man named Winston “Win” Morris.  Meeting “Win” They met in March of that year. In April they had their first date—on the mountain and on skis. Winston “Win” Morris was among the first ski patrollers of the Mount Mansfield Ski Club in Stowe, Vermont. That club established one of the first US ski patrols around 1935. Eventually that grew into the National Ski Patrol. When asked about […]