The Baby Cage

I could never use this, but it does make for an interesting post!

Baby-cages-used-to-ensure-that-children-get-enough-sunlight-and-fresh-air-when-living-in-an-apartment-building-ca-1937

In the 1930s, London nannies lacking space for their young ones resorted to the baby cage. It’s exactly what it sounds like: a wire contraption, patented in the U.S. in 1922, that lets you claim that space outside your city window for your infant. Risky? Maybe, but so convenient.

It seems that this historical oddity is one that constantly comes in and out of the media and causes incredible public shock and outrage every time. It is amazing how attitudes change, so that something invented in the 1920s to do nothing but good now leaves us struggling to believe it ever happened.

In 1923 Emma Read patented the Portable Baby Cage. It was designed to solve the problem of large high rises in urban areas which left families with no open spaces to allow their young children to play. It was agreed that babies needed fresh air to maintain their health, so the baby cage was a simple and safe way to leave babies outside to enjoy the air. In the patent it is explained that:

“It is well known that a great many difficulties rise in raising and properly housing babies and small children in crowded cities, that is to say from the health viewpoint. “With these facts in view, it is the purpose of this invention to provide an article of manufacture for babies and young children, to be suspended upon the exterior of a building adjacent an open window, wherein the baby or young child may be placed.”

The cage could be suspended outside an open window of a flat, allowing the baby to sleep or play fully in the open air with wire mesh protecting it from falling. The baby cage was used in London during the 1930s, when in particular they were distributed to members of the Chelsea Baby Club ‘who have no gardens and live at the top of high buildings’, as documented by Getty.

baby cage

The idea didn’t really catch on for many obvious reasons. Firstly the wire mesh looks awful and must have reminded mothers constantly that they were really locking their baby in a cage: and I’m sure the name didn’t help either. Secondly they look incredibly dangerous, with babies potentially suspended 200 feet from the ground.

baby cage 1

Let me know what you think of this wacky invention!

Americans II

Bears Belly, an Arikara indian man in a Half-length Portrait. It was taken in 1908

Bears Belly, an Arikara indian man in a Half-length Portrait. It was taken in 1908

I have said it before, but I am newly amazed every time I view these 100+ year old photographs.  These were taken exclusively by Edward Curtis in the very early 1900’s.  American Indians should simply be called Americans, they were here first and it was their land before it was ours.   I post these as a tribute to a beautiful people!  Be sure to let me know your favorite photo and feel free to comment 🙂

Zuni Medicine Man, Grinding Medicine. It was created in 1903

Zuni Medicine Man, Grinding Medicine. It was created in 1903

Zuni Brave. It was made in 1903

Zuni Brave. It was made in 1903

Zuni Bead Worker Drilling Holes. It was created in 1903

Zuni Bead Worker Drilling Holes. It was created in 1903

White Shield, an Indian Chief. It was made in 1908

White Shield, an Indian Chief. It was made in 1908

Swallow Bird, a handsome Crow Indian in Montana. It was taken in 1908

Swallow Bird, a handsome Crow Indian in Montana. It was taken in 1908

Navaho Chief. It was made in 1904

Navaho Chief. It was made in 1904

Nova, a Walapai Man. It was taken in 1906

Nova, a Walapai Man. It was taken in 1906

Pimas Indian School Girl. It was created in 1907

Pimas Indian School Girl. It was created in 1907

Raven Blanket. It was made in 1910

Raven Blanket. It was made in 1910

Slow Bull Praying to the Great Spirit. It was created in 1907

Slow Bull Praying to the Great Spirit. It was created in 1907

Mizheh Babe, and Indian Mother. It was made in 1906

Mizheh Babe, and Indian Mother. It was made in 1906

Maricopa Water Girl. It was made in 1907

Maricopa Water Girl. It was made in 1907

Maricopa Water Girl. It was made in 1906

Maricopa Water Girl. It was made in 1906

Maricopa Indian Child. It was taken in 1907

Maricopa Indian Child. It was taken in 1907

Klamath Indian Head-dress. It was created in 1923

Klamath Indian Head-dress. It was created in 1923

Apache Papoose. It was made in 1903

Apache Papoose. It was made in 1903

Bears Belly, an Arikara indian man in a Half-length Portrait. It was taken in 1908

Bears Belly, an Arikara indian man in a Half-length Portrait. It was taken in 1908

Crow Warriors On Horseback. It was taken in 1908

Crow Warriors On Horseback. It was taken in 1908

Honovi-Walpi, a Hopi Snake Priest, with Totkya. It was made in 1910

Honovi-Walpi, a Hopi Snake Priest, with Totkya. It was made in 1910

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Americans

Wishham Indian Bride. It was taken in 1910

Wishham Indian Bride. It was taken in 1910

Before My people were considered Americans.  The Indians were here.  I am fascinated with these photos.  I wander what daily life was like, if only photos could talk!

 

Watching For Salmon. It was made in 1923

Watching For Salmon. It was made in 1923

Two Zuni Indian Girls. It was made in 1903

Two Zuni Indian Girls. It was made in 1903

Touch Her Dress. It was made in 1910

Touch Her Dress. It was made in 1910

Sund Dance Ritual Indian Ceremony in which a man is suspended by leather straps attached to sticks in his chest. It was created in 1908

Sund Dance Ritual Indian Ceremony in which a man is suspended by leather straps attached to sticks in his chest. It was created in 1908

Tipis at the Waters Edge. It was made in 1910

Tipis at the Waters Edge. It was made in 1910

Jicarilla Cowboy. It was created in 1905

Jicarilla Cowboy. It was created in 1905

Klamath Indian Warrior. It was made in 1923

Klamath Indian Warrior. It was made in 1923

Kato Woman. It was made in 1924

Kato Woman. It was made in 1924

Ndee Sangochonh, an Apache man. It was created in 1906

Ndee Sangochonh, an Apache man. It was created in 1906

One Blue Bead, an Old Indian Warrior. It was created in 1908

One Blue Bead, an Old Indian Warrior. It was created in 1908

Sioux Indian Maiden. It was made in 1908

Sioux Indian Maiden. It was made in 1908

Indian Mother holding her Child. It was taken in 1908

Indian Mother holding her Child. It was taken in 1908

Hollow Horn Bear, an Indian Brave. It was created in 1907

Hollow Horn Bear, an Indian Brave. It was created in 1907

Hupa Indian Woman. It was taken in 1923

Hupa Indian Woman. It was taken in 1923

Eskimo Family Group. It was taken in 1929

Eskimo Family Group. It was taken in 1929

Cheyenne Indian Warrior. It was taken in 1927

Cheyenne Indian Warrior. It was taken in 1927

Big Mouth Spring, an Indian wearing a scalp on his jacket. It was made in 1910

Big Mouth Spring, an Indian wearing a scalp on his jacket. It was made in 1910

Fishing

Fishing

this is an American Indian fishing in North Dakota – 1903

1860’s samurai

1860's samurai