Nobody Puts Baby In A Cage
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Listerine. It’s the green mouth wash that burns and promises to 99.9% of all germs. It is a part of many people’s daily routines but what most people don’t realize is that they are rinsing their mouth out with floor cleaner.
Listerine was invented by a doctor named Joseph Lawrence as an antiseptic that would help sterilize surgical equipment. It wasn’t immediately a commercial success, so the solution was diluted and sold as a powerful floor cleaner for tile floors. It wasn’t until the 1920’s when dentists began diagnosing patients that had bad breath with an obscure affliction known as “Chronic halitosis”. Bad breath has always existed, but it wasn’t something people worried about until dentists started using bad breath as a scare tactic to get people to brush more.
Capitalizing on people’s fear of bad breath, Listerine shifted their focus from floor cleaners to mouth washes that kill the bad smelling bacteria in the mouth. They heavily marketed Listerine as the only cure for bad breath and frequently featured ads with some people being social outcasts for having bad breath and others being cool for having fresh breath.
A common saying is that “the floors are so clean that you can eat off them”. In the 1920’s the floors were cleaned with the same thing that you cleaned your mouth with which adds credibility to those claims.
Taking care of children is hard and it seems like everyone has a different opinion on what to do and what not to do. One thing that most parents agree on is that it is probably not a good idea to toss a baby out of an open window, although, some parents in 1930’s London would disagree.
An 1884 book on parenting called The Care and Feeding of Children claimed that children need to be “aired” to “renew and purify the blood”. Being “aired” simply meant that children need fresh air to be refreshed and to avoid getting sick (not to crazy). Problem is, families living in a major city didn’t have a lot of access to outdoor spaces in their small city apartments, so they needed to find a clever solution to get their babies fresh air.
Fortunately, a 1922 invention would allow for babies to be exposed to fresh air while remaining close to home. The invention was called the “baby cage” and it looked just like it sounds. It was a small cage, like a chicken coop, that comfortably fit a baby or a small toddler. In order to provide babies with enough fresh air, the baby cage was designed to hang out of apartment windows like an air conditioner. Parents would put their babies in a wire cage and hang them out of their apartment windows “for their health”. The baby cage grew in popularity from the time of its release and it was very common to see young babies suspended in cages over the London streets. To the credit of the inventor, there are no recorded incidents of babies falling out of the cages.
We are sure being suspended 15 stories in the air at such an early age had no negative affects on the baby’s psyche. Their irrational fear of heights and pigeons was probably caused by something completely different.
Happy thanksgiving from the HumpDay family to yours! Whether you are celebrating with your family or celebrating with your friends, you probably celebrating wrong…
The first thanksgiving was held in Plymouth, MA nearly 400 years ago. The English pilgrims that had fled to the new world to escape religious persecution shared a meal with the local native American tribe, the Wampanoag. Rather than a one-day feast, the pilgrims and Wampanoag feasted for 3 straight days. That isn’t the only difference between the original and modern thanksgiving.
For starters, the feast that is fondly remembered as a unifying event between the English settlers and the natives wasn’t unifying at all. In fact, the pilgrims and the Wampanoag were often at odds with each other and were constantly fighting, so they didn’t eat the feast together out of a shared distaste for one another. In addition, they were not celebrating everything that they were thankful for, instead they were simply feasting because the fall harvest had been completed and there was a ton of food to go around.
The staple thanksgiving foods we know and love today were not at the table at the first thanksgiving. There are accounts of the pilgrims going hunting for “fowl” but no mention of turkey anywhere, instead the main course was venison (deer meat). Potatoes had not yet been introduced to Europe let alone North America so there was no mashed or sweet potatoes. Cranberries are native to Massachusetts and were featured at dinner but not in the can-shaped cranberry sauce form that we have today. Bizarrely to most Americans celebrating thanksgiving, dinner included several seafood dishes that we don’t normally associate with thanksgiving like mussels, lobsters, and eels pulled fresh from cape cod bay.
Although the original thanksgiving wasn’t the peaceful, joyous, turkey filled event that we learned about in elementary school, the spirit of the original event still lives on. Like the pilgrims, we still eat way too much, hang out with people that we may have a little hostility toward, and drink beer while watching football. Somethings never change. Happy Thanksgiving!
This Week in History
On this week in 1095, Pope Urban II called all Christians to begin the first crusade which started 600 years of wars in Europe and western Asia. The first crusade was fought between members of the Roman Catholic Church and Muslims living in the “Holy Lands” in modern day Israel and Palestine. The central of the first crusade was the battle for Jerusalem, the site of the death of Jesus Christ. Although it claimed to be in god’s name, the first crusade is one of the deadliest events in human history claiming nearly 3 million lives.
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