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Baby Gear Through the Ages

We began our “Through the Ages” series this month with Contraceptives Through the Ages. Assuming some of those strategies (wearing weasel testicles and drinking mercury) didn’t work, it’s time to check out what eventually came next.  Baby gear has surely evolved since the good ol’ days. Brilliant inventions like the Kiddie Koop and baby cages no longer grace us with their presence. From cribs and carriers to playpens and strollers, see how the first prototypes have evolved through the ages to the safety first baby gear we have today.

  • Baby Gear Through the Ages 1 of 26
    Baby-Gear-Through-the-Ages

    Click through to see them all...

  • Hanging Crib 2 of 26
    012

    This bassinet is suspended from the ceiling around 1911.
    Find out more at New York Public Library.

  • Thonet Crib 3 of 26
    0216

    Thonet the maker of the famous bentwood chair created a wood baby crib in 1900. Parents would cover the crib to keep the baby warm.
    Find out more at One of a Kind Antiques.

  • Rocking Cradle 4 of 26
    0316

    Circa 1900s this wooden cradle rocked babies to sleep.
    Find out more at Etsy.

  • Carved Cradle 5 of 26
    04

    This ornately carved crib was made in Turkey around the 1800s.
    Find out more at eBay.

  • Kiddie Koop 6 of 26
    0616

    In the 1940s, the Kiddie Koop promised greater protection for your baby from insects and getting caught in crib bars.
    Find out more at Daddy Types.

  • Baby Cage 7 of 26
    0716

    No yard? No problem. In the 1930s you could buy a baby cage so your kid could get some fresh air by hanging out your window.
    Find out more at The Atlantic.

  • More to Enjoy 8 of 26
    0814

    Clearly the purpose of playpens in the 50s were to give yourself time to enjoy a coke and Elvis. Beware the baby might try and steal your coke.
    Find out more at eBay.

  • BetterBaby Cage 9 of 26
    0914

    In the early 20th century you could just wheel your kid out to the yard while you hung the laundry out to dry. You didn't need to worry about snakes with the BetterBaby cage.
    Find out more at Daddy Types.

  • Bomb Stroller 10 of 26
    1022

    A shiny metal stroller fashioned to look like a bomb.
    Find out more at Makezine.

  • Iron Crib 11 of 26
    0515

    This iron play pen/crib was supposedly used in the tobacco fields. I am not sure how they kept it from getting hot in the sun.
    Find out more at eBay.

  • Cruiser 12 of 26
    1119

    These vintage beauties were manufactured from the 30s to the 70s. This one has a chrome bumper.
    Find out more at Daddy Types.

  • Walker 13 of 26
    1215

    An early 18th century walker possibly the first educational baby toy. Notice there's no way to secure the baby, so if he falls you better hope he can get up.
    Find out more at Museum of Childhood.

  • Car Seat 14 of 26
    1318

    Car Seats have come a long way since the 60s.
    Find out more at Love's Photo Album.

  • Baby Bath 15 of 26
    1414

    Before materials became cheap enough to manufacture baby baths, people washed their babies in the same tub as their clothes. This model is from 1935.
    Find out more at Museum of Childhood.

  • Cradleboard 16 of 26
    1514

    Cradleboards could be strapped onto the mother or stand upright against a tree to make traveling with a baby easier.
    Find out more at Wikipedia.

  • Wooden Stroller 17 of 26
    16

    A rickety wooden stroller from 1902 that looks more like an early wheelchair.
    Find out more at New York Public Library.

  • Baby Jumper 18 of 26
    17

    Let the baby exercise in this jumper for fun and cardio.
    Find out more at Thing Ama Baby.

  • Bilt-Rite 19 of 26
    1816

    In 1966 a Bilt-Rite stroller was $89.99 and your baby was worth it.
    Find out more at Attic Paper.

  • Carriage 20 of 26
    1916

    This horse drawn stroller is amazing. I want one for the mall.
    Find out more at All Experts.

  • Anti-gas 21 of 26
    2016

    With the threat of gas attacks in WW2, this stroller was made to protect baby.
    Find out more at Historical Photos Daily.

  • Motorized Carriage 22 of 26
    2114

    Room for one kid in this 1923 motorized carriage let's that kid ride in style.
    Find out more at New York Times Store.

  • Skinner Box 23 of 26
    2215

    This glass enclosed crib protects baby from germs and drafts. The glass does slide down, and you've got temperature control.
    Find out more at No Small Wonders.

  • Travois 24 of 26
    brulep259horsetravois

    Native Americans used a travois pulled by a horse as an early form of a stroller. It was able to transport the babies when there were great distances to cover.
    Find out more at UCI.

  • Infant Carrier 25 of 26
    2414

    Split the duty of baby carrying between mom and dad while you ice skate. I mean safety isn't really a thing, right?
    Find out more at Gajitz.

  • Front Row Seat 26 of 26
    2516

    Forget about rear facing in 1936, this car seat boosted kids up to see through the windshield.
    Find out more at Daddy Types.

Jacinda Boneau is a fabric designer and founding co-editor at Pretty Prudent, the premier design and lifestyle blog providing inspiration and instruction to help anyone create beautiful things, food, and experiences for their friends and family.

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