As the father of a 16-month old – and another bundle of joy due next month – my wife and I are constantly on the lookout for clever baby products that might provide our son(s) with positive experiences, while offering us a moment of relaxation. This leads us often to stores like Babies R Us (which I have taken to calling Babies R Screaming). As a result I’m often overwhelmed – and sometimes disappointed – as I wade through a rash of what I deem to be needless or silly baby products.
However, an entry in the The Atlantic’s Old, Weird Tech series recently reminded me just how lucky I am to be living in the modern age – complete with all of our advanced medical options and nifty gadgets. After all, I could be living at a time when the Chelsea Baby Club baby cage was deemed a good idea.
Here an excerpt from the article detailing the idea behind the horrifying contraption:
Built in 1937 and distributed in London to members of the Chelsea Baby Club, the baby cage was meant for women with children but without a backyard, garden or terrace for them to play in or on.
Suspended from the side of the building, the baby would have access to fresh air and sunlight through the cage's wire frame, and still have sufficient room to play with toys, according to a patent filed in 1922 by an Emma Read of Spokane, WA. The patent also notes that the cage could double as a place to sleep, with removable curtains working to prevent a draft.
And all this time I thought the Baby Keeper was scary!