While The Intentions May Be Good, This Is No Place To Keep A Baby
May 8, 2015
The "suspended baby cage" was invented in 1922 by Emma Read, an inventor from Spokane, Washington. It was designed to allow people in crowded cities to still be able to get their children plenty of exposure to fresh air, as all the popular child-rearing books of that time advised parents to "air" their children for up to five hours a day. Curiously, the device never took off in the U.S. but Londoners took to it with enthusiasm...until WWII and the Blitzkrieg. The cage is now one of TIME's "50 Worst Inventions."
These days, parents struggle to make sure their kids get a little fresh air and sunlight, but even the most exasperated mother wouldn't think of going to the lengths some mothers would in 1930s London. If you've ever looked up at an apartment building and worried about the air conditioners perched precariously out a window several stories up, imagine using that as a place to keep your baby.