Baby Cage essayPosted: December 14, 2014
The Baby cage was invented by Emma Read in July 1922 and is classified as a US patent. Emma is said to have created the baby cage because she saw how difficult it was raising young children and babies in crowded cities with lots of tall apartments where access to gardens and fresh air was not easily accessible. And out of the concern of the health and safety of the young children and babies she felt the invention solved the issue.
Emma’s invention is a ‘cage’ that is suspended from an open window on the outside of a building. The cage consisted of a slanted roof, a solid bottom/base of the cage and wire around the sides. Although Emma created the baby Cage to have a solid floor and slanted overlapping roof to prevent the babies to be effected by the rain and snow, Many cages were made out of chicken wire and had no solid roof. This reinforces how cruel this invention can be as does not give the baby sufficient shelter so they could easily be drenched in bad weather conditions and effected by passing birds leaving excrement.
Although the baby cage was a US invention and became popular in New York, It also became popular in 1937 in England when the Chelsea Baby club distributed baby cages to London families. However the baby cage’s popularity plummeted in the UK after the Blitz in 1940.
The baby Cage is a very controversial invention, Many people in today’s society will agree this is a shocking invention and unsafe for a child. So considering how widely used the baby cage was in America, and Some in the UK, You’d think all 1920’s mothers would be very supportive of the invention and not see the faults of it. However when researching the topic I was surprised to find that when Eleanor Roosevelt ordered a cage for her daughter and put it up on the rear window of her house in New York, According to a Biography, a neighbor threatened Eleanor to report her to the Society for the prevention of child cruelty. Eleanor was said to be rather shocked by this and thought she was being a very modern mother.
However I may have my modern view on the baby cage because of the world I live in today, but to think from a 1920’s mothers point of view I could understand and sympathize that it may have been difficult living in an overcrowded city and feeling that your child needs fresh air and not being able to provide that therefore the baby cage would seem like a suitable solution.
To conclude I think that the Baby cage is cruel for a child and If I was a mother I would not place my child in one as it is potentially dangerous, and would definitely not be acceptable in today’s society. I also understand that I can’t just simply compare my views with 1920’s mothers as the living standards and costs are very different then to they are now, therefore I cannot judge the women who used the cages as I don’t think they had bad intentions and just did what they felt was best for their child at the time.
Image source: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2178140/Baby-taking-room-Try-solution-1930s–window-CAGE-hanging-air-infant-crawl-in.html Getty images copyright