How Were Baby Strollers Invented? Here Is All You Need To Know
The struggle on how to carry babies conveniently from one place to the next hasn’t started in the recent past. It is a problem that has faced parents for as long as human beings have been in existence. This necessitated the need to have some kind of machines that could make the whole process of transporting these little ones easy.
This is the reason as to why strollers came into the picture. It has really taken great minds time to realize the desirable baby strollers that you can currently find in the markets. But the question still begs, how were baby strollers invented?
Who are the minds behind this innovative idea that has relieved our wives and mothers from the burden of carrying babies on their backs as it used to be in the ancient times? Well, you are in the right place and at the right time for the answers to the above questions. All you need to do is to read this article to the tail end.
Evolution Of Baby Strollers
These machines that are currently on every mum’s lips date back to the 1700s. Nobody who lived around this time is still alive to give us an account of how it started but there is documented evidence that points to the first strollers being built in the 1700s. These strollers were very simple since technology at such times wasn’t so sophisticated.
Let’s take a look at a step by step evolution of the baby strollers below:
1. Horse-Driven Baby Carriages Of The 1700s
The idea of baby strollers came from a landscape architect known as William Kent in 1733. This English architect was asked by the then Duke of Devonshire, who needed a flashy type of transport that could be used to carry his kids. Kent then built a shell-shaped basket that had wheels and could be drawn by a horse.
The children could comfortably sit in the basket and enjoy the ride as a result of the spring suspensions. These were very coveted materials then; only the rich were associated with them.
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2. Forward-Facing Carriages With Handles Of The 1800s
A little improvement was done on what William Kent had designed and a handle included for parents that didn’t have the means to tow the baby stroller; these being goats and horses among others. The handle was placed at the back to make it easier to pull the stroller.
However convenient they appeared to be to the parents, they were a bit taller and unstable which exposed the babies to frequent falls and injuries. This innovation was included in the early 1800s.
In the mid-1800; 1848 to be precise, Charles Burton (an American innovator) redesigned the carriage so that it could be pushed instead of being pulled. Unfortunately, his idea wasn’t well-received in the United States at its launch which forced him to move to England to sell it.
In England, the royalty welcomed his idea and in 1852, Burton patented his design in what later came to be known as the pram.
In 1889, William H. Richardson saw the need to include independently moving tires together with a reversible basket for the baby. He went ahead and patented the design and this is what really marked the biggest breakthrough in the journey of baby strollers.
Richardson’s bassinet was more convenient to operate due to the easy to maneuver wheels.
3. Introduction Of Safety Features In The 1900s
Just after the World War 1, there was a need to fit baby strollers with additional safety features. These included foot brakes, sturdier frames, roomier prams as well as large wheels among others.
In the 1930s, plastic and rubber were introduced in the manufacturing sector. Additionally, the inexpensive chrome was also introduced which led to the reduction of production cost as well as the market price. With the designs being safe and cheaply available, there was a significant growth in the number of strollers in the market around the 1950s.
In 1965, a London-based Aeronautical Engineer by the name Owen Maclaren invented an umbrella stroller which was the first of its kind. The stroller was lightweight, collapsible and therefore, easy to store. These models were so durable and can still be found in the markets.
The jogging stroller found its way to the market in 1984 due to Phil Baechler’s need for a stroller that could enable him to enjoy his hobby of running as well. He initially replaced the stroller wheels with bicycle tires but further designs saw the emergence of baby joggers that are even more stable.
The double strollers then came a few years afterward (1986)
We believe you now have an idea regarding how these strollers were invented. If you are asked, “How were baby strollers invented?” then you should now be in a good position to give a concrete answer.
The 21st century has since witnessed a tremendous growth in baby strollers. A lot of improvements have been done to the above designs to bring the best out of the ideas that were put forth by those who had the visions of what baby strollers should look like.
The journey has taken quite long to reach where it currently is. What we are certain about is that it won’t stop here. A lot of innovations are still on the way and all we can tell you is to expect much more. Hope you enjoyed this piece.