Antique baby carriage donated to museum
Pat Qualls Taylor found this brown wicker baby buggy in an antique store in Little Rock and donated it to the museum. It is from the late 1800's or early 1900's. It has black metal spoked wheels, and is good condition for over one hundred years old. This buggy is from a time when babies were taken for strolls to enjoy the outdoors. In the late 1800's, strolling in the fresh air was considered necessary for good health. This was a period in our history when a passion for nature was seen everywhere. It was this obsession with the outdoors that brought on a huge demand for baby carriages. Two of the most famous makers of that time were the Heywood Brothers & Company and the Wakefield Rattan Company. With the help of listings in catalogs such as the Sears, Roebuck and Co., the price of a plain baby carriage was affordable to nearly everyone. Many of these carriages were made from wicker, which was durable, lightweight, and easy to clean. The very first baby carriages from England in the late 1700's were often made to be pulled by a dog, goat, or pony. The first baby carriage in America was made in the 1830's by Benjamin Potter Crandall. These early carriages were made from wood or wicker and some were very ornate, with wire wheels, satin pillows, and a parasol to keep the sun off the baby.
Today our babies are pushed around in a stroller. They are made of lightweight plastic and metals, and fold up to fit in our cars. Baby buggies have come a long way from the early carriages to the modern three-wheeled jogging stroller. But one fact remains, people still need a convenient way to get the baby around when enjoying the outdoors.
Buffalo Island Museum is open on Fridays and Saturdays 12:30-4:00. Admission is free. Check our Facebook page for more information, pictures, and our monthly "BIM Mystery Artifact Contest".