A baby. In a cage. Hanging out the window. Four stories up. It’ll never catch on, we hear you cry!
Except it very nearly did.
Yes, as photographed by Getty back in 1937, the “baby cage” was distributed among London members of the Chelsea Baby Club, touted as the antidote to families without gardens or easy access to the outside.
Space-saver: A nanny watches over her charge as he rests in a baby cage
And London’s then East Poplar borough council also wanted a piece of the action – proposing to fix the cages to the outside of its tenement windows, the Telegraph reported.
The Northern Star states the contraption was designed by Emma Read, of Spokane, Washington, with a patent being filed in 1922 and granted a year later.
Literature from the patent reads: “It is well known that a great many difficulties rise in raising and properly housing babies and small children in crowded cities, that is to say from the health viewpoint.
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East Poplar borough council proposed fixing baby cages to the outside of its tenement windows
“With these facts in view, it is the purpose of this invention to provide an article of manufacture for babies and young children, to be suspended upon the exterior of a building adjacent an open window, wherein the baby or young child may be placed.”
The patent adds the cage - which has since taken a place on TIME Magazine's 50 worst inventions of all time list - could also double as a bed and comes equipped with removable curtains to prevent unwanted drafts.
Despite this ambitious vision, hanging your baby out of your bedroom window in a cage next completely took off. Strange, that.
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