Victor Mills, of Tucson, Ariz., who led a team of engineers in designing the first disposable diaper, died November 1. He was 100. Among the list of Procter & Gamble consumer products he created or improved, such as Bic pens, Pringles potato chips and Ivory soap, Mills had the biggest impact on American households when he invented Pampers disposable diapers, which modernized infant hygiene in the early 1960s.
I recently visited the ecstatic parents of a newborn baby. Friends of mine, the had almost delayed childbirth too long, making the birth especially joyous. I brought them a baby gift, a box of useful items for mother and baby, assembled and wrapped by my wife. I couldn't resist throwing in a piece of propaganda: an article I wrote on diaper choice published in Clinical Pediatrics. It was with no little trepidation that I did this as my original motivation in involving myself in diaper choice sprung from an urge to merge my concerns about the environment with my career in pediatrics.