Wednesday, January 15, 2014

The Baby Cage

baby cage in window

When I first saw this, I thought it was a joke! But it is real.  



Baby cages were a popular item back in 1930s London, England.

People would install these cages to their apartment windows, and place the babies in them so they could get fresh air.  

Apparently, Eleanor Roosevelt ordered one for her daughter but ended up not using it after neighbors threatened to report her to the authorities for child abuse.

I can't believe that a woman designed this, but its true. Emma Read, an American woman, filed for the patent in 1922 and was issued the patent in 1923.

I was curious as to the person who invented this ... interesting...contraption.

I'd have liked to report that this lady never had children, but it appears that she had a daughter, who was married by the time of this patent filing in 1922.

This Emma K Read is the only Emma Read I find in Spokane, Washington in the city directories around 1922 (she appears there at least 1913-1952) and the census records including 1920. She was the wife of Theodore Read.

She was apparently born Emma Krause about  1876 in Ohio to German born parents.

She had a daughter Ressa who was an actress.

According to the marriage record for Ressa to Chrismas, Emma's maiden name was Emma Krause.


In the 1940 census, a granddaughter Ozma is living with Theodore and Emma.  Ozma in 19.  Since she would have been a small baby at the time of the patent filing in 1922, I wonder if the baby cage was designed for her.....