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Paddi Pads Fleecy Disposable Soft Napkins

  • Object:

    Disposable nappy liner

  • Place of origin:

    Chesterfield (Manufactured)

  • Date:

    1949 - 1990 (manufactured)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Hunter-Gordon, Valerie (Mrs) (inventor)
    Robinson & Sons of Chesterfield (manufacturer)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    cellulose tissue with a cotton wool facing and paper

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Christopher Silwood

  • Museum number:

    B.394:1 to 3-2012

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

This pack of Paddi Pads were found in the donor’s mother’s attic, due to their ephemeral nature these are quite rare. This pack is part of a two part disposable nappy. It was designed by Valerie Hunter-Gordon, she was a mother of three and married to a soldier. She had looked to find something suitable for her children as an alternative to the traditional terry nappy but unable to find anything she designed her own system. She started to make these for friends and family at home on her domestic sewing machine and before long had made about 400. She went on to find a company Robinson & Sons to produce her product, signing an agreement on the 8th November 1949. This product was to change the lives of mother’s moving to a more disposable approach to rising their children, though this did come at a cost that some mother’s were unable to afford. But it was a good time for the product just after the Second World War and there was a change in attitudes towards women. There were also many advertising campaigns in the fifties promoting the modern household and a modern gadget,/methods of house keeping. They demonstrated the Paddi Pads at the Daily Mail Ideal Home Show in 1952. The company sold 750,000 packs by the end of the year. It was a slow revolution but by 1960 sales had reached six million. The Paddi Pads remained popular until the invention of the all-in-one nappy. Though many British mother’s stuck to traditional methods, in 1975 less than 10% of nappy changes were made using disposables of any kind compared to 40% Italy and Germany, 70% France and 99% in Sweden.

Physical description

A white paper package full of fleecy liners (these liners are now insperable). The liners are made from a cellulose wadding ith a cotton wool facing. The pack is open at the top and has a printed band around the middle that reads 10 Paddi Pads Fleecy Disposable Soft Nappies, 1'9. The design is in baby pink and blue colours. Also inside is a leaflet promoting the Paddi pads that reads 'Modern Mother's don't wash nappies!'.

Place of Origin

Chesterfield (Manufactured)


1949 - 1990 (manufactured)


Hunter-Gordon, Valerie (Mrs) (inventor)
Robinson & Sons of Chesterfield (manufacturer)

Materials and Techniques

cellulose tissue with a cotton wool facing and paper


Length: 38 cm, depth: 5 cm, Width: 20 cm

Descriptive line

Pack of Paddi Pads, disposable nappy liner designed by Valerie Hunter-Gordon, manufactured by Robinson & Sons, in England ca 1950-1969.


Children & Childhood; Children's clothes


Museum of Childhood

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