Snug as a Bug
Like many of our inventors, our featured female inventor today was a nurse. Like many women, she thought of herself more as a “problem solver, not an inventor”. Ann Moore was born and raised in Ohio and became a pediatric nurse. In her own words, this is how she describes her early life: “I grew up on a farm in southwestern Ohio and being raised on a farm was terrific. Our family did not have a lot of money and we improvised a lot. My parents were put out of their church, the Dunkard Brethren Church, which is much like the Amish because they owned a radio. The church emphasized public service and that stayed with me.”
Ann Moore graduated college as a nurse, her lifelong dream, and went to work at Columbia Hospital in New York City teaching pediatric nursing. Working in Germany helping refugees from Eastern Bloc nations had a profound effect on her as did another humanitarian position working with earthquake victims in Morocco. She became one of the earliest Peace Corps volunteers and with her husband worked in Africa. It was there that she saw how the women of Africa carried their babies.
Women in underdeveloped nations seldom have the luxury of leaving their infants with someone else while they go about their chores and duties. Hands are needed to both carry the baby and do the work and since women are not octopi, it can get a bit difficult. In Africa, the women solved this problem by carrying their babies in fabric slings, keeping the child close and yet having their hands free to do their work.
Upon returning home, Ann Moore set about to invent a similar means of carrying infants in the United States. Together with her mother the Snugli baby soft carrier was invented in 1969, a more involved and sturdier version of the African fabric sling. This paved the way for all sorts of infant safe-carrying items and afforded women the chance to keep their children safe and yet still be active and productive.
Ann Moore learned something the rest of the world is still struggling to accept – we are all one on this planet. She saw neither race nor color but the things that bind us. She also knew the importance of togetherness and closeness, the sharing of life and heartbeats.
While her invention may not seem earth-shattering, it builds on the basic premise that gives and improves life for us all. Modern science has within the past twenty years recognized that infants need human contact and that often putting a premature infant on the mother’s chest can work wonders.
The women who was the thirty-third applicant for the Peace Corps knew that the road to peace would began with compassion and caring, sharing life and joy. During her training for the Peace Corps she met her husband, Mike Moore, and their eight-week courtship resulted in marriage before their posting in Togo. Their first child was named Mandela after Nelson Mandela, in fact.
A happy baby makes for a happy family and African babies were very content, Ann Moore discovered. She attributed this to their closeness with their mother, the constant feeling of being loved and nurtured. Ann Moored took babies from the hard plastic shell of an infant carrier to being carried by a parent. This has helped with early talking and vocalization of infants which leads to earlier reading skills and improved educational skills. Ann Moore knew what science has just now discovered – Love nurtures and builds healthy bodies!