Reddit roasts bizarre baby ‘device’ from 1940s

Emerald Pellot

Things were very different back in the day.

A clip from the British Movietone archive has gone viral on Reddit. The newsreel collection, established by the Associated Press, contains historical footage from 1895 to 1986. But it’s a video from April 18, 1940, boasting of a product to keep babies quiet, is making the rounds on the internet.

“Here’s an invention with a dual purpose,” the voiceover announces. “Not only does it give baby something to do when it’s not eating or sleeping. But it also develops the leg muscles making every child a potential soccer international. Incidentally, the idea is a great boon to parents with the infant having gotten incredibly bored with the treadmill takes refuge in sleep.”

It’s not the idea that’s strange. There are plenty of foot-kicking play gyms for infants today. It’s the design that makes it feel like a relic from the past.

The device is like a massive, rimless cartwheel. Parents would need a pretty large nursery to store this clunky equipment and a crib. Then, of course, there is the placement of the child. The baby lies under the wheel in a cot to kick each of the protruding spokes as he’s spun around. 

It’s no shock that the vintage clip has renewed life on the popular subreddit InterestingAF. The baby treadmill was upvoted 69,000 times and users had fun roasting the now-defunct product.

This 'device' that was created aiming to develop leg muscles from r/interestingasfuck

“These green energy initiatives are really getting out of hand,” one Redditor joked. 

“That baby grew up to be Usain Bolt,” one person said. 

“Fun fact: This was created specifically to cure the weakness and apathy of one particular baby, which the public knew as ‘Lazy Susan,’” another user teased.

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