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Baby's perambulator

Baby's perambulator

  • Place of origin:

    England (made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1905 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Metal and wood frame, with leathercloth upholstery and reed-work decoration

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

The children's carriages known as ‘mailcarts’ first became available in about 1870, and derived from the handcarts used by Post Office staff for delivering letters and small parcels. The earliest versions, open at each end and quite difficult to steer, were for children of five years and over. A flat-bedded version suitable for babies appeared in about 1886, and became immensely popular despite problems with steering, instability and keeping the baby safely inside.

Physical description

The perambulator is of the type known as a mailcart, and has a navy blue hand painted metal chassis with ivory-coloured linear decoration. The C-spring chassis supports a rectangular wooden body upholstered in navy blue leathercloth, the exterior decorated in unpigmented reedwork; the back of the body is suspended from the frame on two leather straps. The body has a flat bed to take a recumbent baby, but the central panel is removable to give access to the well space so that the mailcart could take a seated older child or children. The wheels have metal rims and spokes and rubber tyres, and are paired, with the two large wheels beneath the body of the pram and the two small ones at the front for greater manoeverability (as in full-sized wheeled vehicles). The apron and hood are of navy blue leathercloth: the hood is edged with 'Greek key' patterned braid, and is supported on a folding frame of metal hoops with a hinged metal strut at each side.

Place of Origin

England (made)


ca. 1905 (made)



Materials and Techniques

Metal and wood frame, with leathercloth upholstery and reed-work decoration


Height: 131.5 cm with hood up, Width: 66.5 cm, Length: 124.5 cm

Descriptive line

Baby's mailcart perambulator with reedwork decoration, made in England in about 1905


Metal; Wood; Leathercloth; Reed




Children & Childhood; Transport

Production Type

Mass produced


Museum of Childhood

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