10 Bizarre Vintage Baby Gadgets

Car seat made to enjoy the view.

A lot of infants born prior to the mid-1960s rode home from the hospital cradled in nothing more secure than Mommy's arms. Today all 50 states have laws regarding child safety seats in automobiles. The very first specialized child car seats, such as those here: https://seatgears.com, appeared on the market in 1898, but at that time, safety was aimed toward the driver and not Baby. Child seat restraints were little more than a drawstring sack that contained Junior so he didn't crawl around or flail his little arms and legs and distract the person in the driver's seat.

In 1933 the Bunny Bear Company introduced a car seat for babies that fastened to the rear seat and elevated Baby so that the driver could keep an eye on him in the rear-view mirror.

This car seat looks more like a big Tupperware dish than a safety gadget.

Retro baby walker.

A baby suspended in a wire cage attached to the outside of a high tenement block window. The cages were distributed to members of the Chelsea Baby Club in London who had no gardens.

Want to bond with your baby over a recreational activity? Try the handlebar baby carriage. In hindsight, it looks a tad unstable, but its inventor, Emile Eberle of Geneva, Switzerland, evidently considered it safe enough for his child. The seat was fastened to the handlebars, while a metal supporting frame anchored the chair to the axle of the front wheel.

Now I know where Spielberg got his inspiration for the bike chase scene in E.T.!

1973 Ford Tot Guard.

Ford Motor Company came up with a 5lb. padded plastic body shield called the "Tot Guard." The child sits on a molded seat; then a loosely fitting, one-piece leg-and-body "cast" is placed over him. The seat belt loops around in front to secure the entire apparatus, allowing the child to move around inside his cast but also to stay in one place.

These banjo shaped feeders of the late 1800's were produced in great numbers. Some had sweet sounding names such as "my little pet" and "mummies darling" while others were very nationalistic like "The Empire", "The National" and "The Victorian." Some simply advertised the chemist from which they were bought, but many cashed in on the popularity of the Princess of Wales in the 1880's. Hence the most common inscriptions bore the words, "The Princess" or "The Alexandria." However, these sweet sounding names often belayed the hidden dangers of these little inconspicuous bottles. Later day nicknames "The Killer" or the "The murderer" were indeed more apt.

Strange wicker baby basket attached to a Vespa scooter.

Another very unsafe looking baby carseat.

So, do you still wonder why grandparents want to take their grandchild on the front seat while riding a car?