Antique and Vintage Baby Gear-A Ride for Baby
Some Vintage Rides of the Past
Vintage Baby Gear a Ride for Baby. Baby carriages, strollers, prams and baby gear have evolved throughout the centuries as the lifestyles of parents progress toward the future. Babies have been transported from one place to another since the beginning of time. Parents have found inventive and creative means to transport their babies. The baby gear used for travel from place to place often indicated the social status of the infant's family. During the 1700's the baby carriage was invented until that time babies were almost always carried on the hip. The working class citizens were forced to bring their children with them while they performed the duties required of them by their employers. The child was affixed to the mother in a number of way with slings and board being popular, keeping the child restrained and under control. The middle and upper classes found means of transporting infants that made it convenient for them to tend to and display their offspring to others.
Recently, I was looking through some thrift stores and antique stores and noticed that baby carriages, baby gear and prams were once quite elaborate in design and style. I decided to do some research and discovered a great variety of vintage ones still available. I spoke to the owner of one of the shops and he told me that there is still quite a market for these item. I was told that many people like to use them as dÃÆÃÂ©cor in their home. Doll collector also like displaying their collectable baby dolls in authentic carriages and cribs. I was fascinated and decided to see just how many I could find.
Since I live on the Gulf coast of Mississippi there are quite a few historical homes along the beach front. Most of these home are considered mansions and have many room that require decorating. Therefore, some of the carriages I discovered had come from wealthy past residents from the coast. I have lots of photos and I heard many stories about a much romanticized past.
A Mother Reflected Her Style
The times when fancy and fussy was better.
Children of the past were expected to remain babies for as long as possible. Children were allowed to play and imagine in a carefree world that made few demand upon them. They were allowed to be pampered and spoiled, and if they were the last baby of the family they enjoyed the benefits of a long lived babyhood.
During this period of history mothers stayed home and tended to the needs of the family. Many lessons were learned at home long before a child entered school. The child remained at the parents side, observing and helping with the everyday tasks of their mothers. Children learned to cook, bake, clean house, tend to the needs of animals and other necessary tasks.
Most families lived in a large dwelling and it was typical during the 1800-1900's that they lived within an extended family. Grandparent, parents, aunts, uncles and siblings and cousins often live under the same roof. Many of us today would find living in these conditions unacceptable.. Baby carriages were passed back and forth through the family, Therefore the sturdy construction was ideal, as most babies remained at home with other family members when parents were occupied with social engagements.
A canvas and leather style carriage with a collaspible hood.
A popular stroller during the 40-60's
Baby DOLL carriage for a little mom
Societal Changes Force New Design
From Carriage to Stroller
The baby carriage has evolved to adapt to modern societal changes. It is still seen as a status symbol to have the best and most beautiful child transport device. However, as the automobile changed in sized due to raising costs of fossil fuel, the once practical carriage transformed to its modern form. Parents now sport strollers commonly know as umbrella strollers. The new design in baby transportation easily closes into the perfect size to fit in the back of the smaller cars we have come to use.
The exquisitely designed wicker carriage in the photo above, although practical for it's time is now a relic of the past. It is not surprising to see vintage carriages in such pristine condition. The construction of these vintage carriage were made to last. They were ruggedly built to withstand numerous babies in families that were much larger than we see today.
The design of this carriage is bulky, well built and was a very expensive model during its time. Since it is non-collaspsible most modern families would have little use for such a device. Much like today a buggy like this would have been dressed out with ruffles lace, and bows and would have been used for both boys and girls. In earlier times baby items were considered a part of the mother's wardrobe, not the babies
The later part of the 20th century.
The industrial revolution brought about change for many families. Often times both parents were part of the work force, During the late 50-60' the once bulky carriage was redesigned to a much sleeker and collapsible baby item. Many mothers brought their children to the workplace and kept them in a buggy like this. Children were dressed in gown with ties on the end to prevent the child from crawling away of getting out of the buggy.
Modern times came not only with these changes, but it changed the way the family lived. It was no longer necessary to maintain the extended family as times changed so did financial situations.. People wanted to live independently from their relatives, many moved from large cities to the suburbs, Homes were smaller and mothers shopped and ran errand farther from home. The collapsible buggy as it was now called became dual purpose. Mom and the kids not longer walked to the store, they drove. Many used the buggy to carry children and grocery item around the store and to the car.