The stroller is one of the most important (and expensive!) purchases a parent can make. But if you’ve ever been in a store with an unruly toddler you know the importance of strapping the kid down in a stroller. Maybe that’s what strollers are? A socially approved method for restraining your child?
Almost nothing beats the convenience of a stroller. It not only restrains and transports children, but it can carry all your baby gear as well. As any big city mom can attest, life without a stroller would not be a life worth living… or something like that.
Since the beginning of time, really, babies have been transported in a number of ways. But where did it all start?
Turns out, before the 1700s you likely would’ve been carrying your baby on your hip. According to multiple sources on the net, including the thehistoryof.net, the idea of the stroller was invented by a man named William Kent. Kent was a well-known garden architect in England. In 1733, the Duke of Devonshire asked Kent to build a means of transportation that would amuse his children. Kent built a shell shaped basket on wheels that the children could sit in. It was pulled by a goat or small pony.
When other wealthy parents saw the contraption they commissioned someone to build them one. Still, these were considered status items, something the everyday parent could never afford. These designs were modified in the next few years and when someone thought to add handles so parents could push their children Queen Victoria bought three carriages. That was the stroller’s big break. After Queen Victoria bought them, anybody who was anybody had a baby carriage. The name is derived from the fact that a stroller originally looked like a miniature horse-drawn carriage.
The stroller quickly became a must-have item. Each year brought a fancy new model that only the wealthiest could afford. And so it is today… some of us purchase the simplest stroller on the market – as long as it has wheels, we’re good to go. But, just like Queen Victoria, the royals of our day (celebrities) have the top-of-the-line gear.
From Victoria to Victoria, here then is a look at the evolution of the stroller, from Queen Victoria’s model all the way to Victoria Beckham’s likely choice.
I could not have written this post without The History of Strollers written by Garry Edwards, who I paraphrased several times in this piece.