Tuesday, November 22, 2011

22 November 1871: Let the Babies Ride!

On this day and several other days in the winter of 1871, the Hodgson Brothers carriage company ran the following ad for their baby carriages in the Southern Watchman

In the 1870s, baby carriages were becoming more popular items for Victorian baby care; as seen in this ad, the Hodgson brothers were not making these for their customers, but stocking standard carriages aimed at the general public. 

Baby carriages typically mimicked the shapes of adult-sized carriages, and were made of wood or wicker with cushions inside the bed. Some came with an attached cover while others installed a parasol over the cushioned bed for the child. 

Fancier models could be custom ordered. These more elaborate baby carriages were constructed as though they were miniature horse-drawn carriages, complete with glass windows, lanterns that held candles, and a suspension system intended to smooth the ride. An elaborate baby carriage was also a status symbol for the Victorian mother, a symbol that still exists today.

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