Victor Mills

From Ohio History Central

Victor Mills was born in 1896. He served in the United States Navy during World War I and then enrolled in the University of Washington. Upon graduating, he accepted a position at Procter & Gamble. Mills eventually became head of Procter & Gamble's Exploratory Development Division.

Mills improved or developed numerous products for Procter & Gamble. He created a process for speeding up the production of Ivory Soap. He developed a means of keeping the oil in Jif peanut butter from separating and also improved Duncan Hines cake mixes. Perhaps, Mills's greatest invention was disposable diapers. Before disposable diapers, parents were forced to use cloth diapers that commonly leaked and needed to be washed. A grandparent at the time, Mills tired of changing and washing cloth diapers, so he developed an absorbent, leak-proof diaper that could be simply thrown away after use. His product, which Procter & Gamble produced and marketed, became known as Pampers. The product was first sold in Rochester, New York, in 1959. The diapers were so popular that Procter & Gamble quickly began to sell Pampers nationwide. Today, disposable diapers are a ten billion dollar-per-year industry.

Upon retiring from Procter & Gamble, Mills moved to Arizona. Over the course of his life, he developed twenty-five separate patents. Mills died on November 1, 1997.

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