Meet the Baby Cage: the Mother of All Bad Ideas

Baby Cage bad ideas bad inventions

What do you do when you live in a high-rise city apartment building and your infant wants to get some fresh air? Why, you set the little crumb cruncher precariously in a flimsy contraption, let it hang out the window, and your problem is solved, of course.

baby cage, inventions, stupidity, dangerous children's toys
Diagram from US Patent number 1,448,235, the “Portable Baby Cage.”

Not convinced? Maybe you’re just not seeing the big picture the way Emma Read did in 1923 when she filed for and obtained a patent for the “Portable Baby Cage.”

This revolutionary device consisted of a cage with a solid bottom, wire sides, and optional curtains for guarding against sun or excessive wind. The roof was slanted, with shingles, to protect against rain, snow, and pigeon droppings. The cage would be hung from an open window, much like a window air conditioning unit.

Reportedly, First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt was so taken with the idea that she considered getting one for her children.

Despite this potential celebrity endorsement, the Baby Cage was not, alas, a commercial success and ceased to be offered for sale after World War II.

Watch a commercial for the Baby Cage here:

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