- Place of origin:
1953 - 1955 (manufactured)
- Credit Line:
Given by Mary-Jane Ansell
- Museum number:
B.449:1 to 3-2012
- Gallery location:
There has been a long history of artificially feeding babies. This has been for a number of reasons such as, the mothers’ choice, problems with breast feeding; mother’s dying in childbirth or a sickly child to weak to suckle, ways around tradition feeding have included wet nursing, bottle/vessel feeding and the use of animal’s milk or formula. Wet nursing was one of the most common methods of feeding infants, it was seen as a profession and the wet nurses would have had contracts with the families they worked for. It was popular from 2000bc to the nineteenth century, it was mainly used by higher ranking women in society, but when attitudes changed towards the use of wet nurses vessel feeding took over.
Feeding vessels have been found dating as far back as 2000 BC, these early vessels would have been used to fed babies animal’s milk. The pap boat was introduced in the sixteenth century, used to feed infants a mixture of bread and milk or water known as pap. These like other feeding vessels were difficult to clean and the poor hygiene of these led to the deaths of many artificially fed babies.
It was not until the nineteenth century that there was a great advance in the development of feeding bottles. These were generally made of glass and used teats, rubber teats were introduced in 1845. The boat shaped (banana) bottle was developed in England in 1896, these were open ended that allowed airflow and a teat at one end.
Animal milk was most commonly used for artificial feeding until the nineteenth century. The first chemical analysis of human milk was in 1760 by Jean Charles Des-Essartz, he published the results in his Treaties of physical upbringing of Children, which declared mother’s milk was best. The first formula was patented in 1865 by the chemist Justus Von Liebig, he produced it first in a liquid then later a powder. Another development that had been patented earlier was evaporated milk, which was a popular choice for feeding to babies in bottles; it was particularly popular and came highly recommended by doctors in the 1930s and 1940s.
By the end of the nineteenth century there were 27 brands of formula available. The public were also well aware of the germ theory and accepted the need for cleanliness. This led to the improved safety of using artificial feeding and for a time it was seen as better choice for the child than breastfeeding, which saw a decline until the 1970s.
A hard opaque plastic hexagonal feeding bottle. The sides are marked with measurements, ounces on one side and cubic centimetres on the other. On one side is the company name Evenflo. Under the bottle reads, Pyramid, made in USA. It has a treaded neck with a white lid and a pink plastic cap.
Place of Origin
1953 - 1955 (manufactured)
Height: 10.8 cm, Diameter: 5 cm
Plastic feeding bottle made by Evenflo, USA, ca 1954
Birth; Children & Childhood
Museum of Childhood