A few years ago I visited a historic home in NC that was built during the Revolutionary war era. It was amazing what a death trap the place was, what with the high chair being placed so close to the open fireplace and the long skirts also really not all that great idea with the open fireplace either. So we learned that death was this huge part of their lives, that kids were not expected to grow up, that a mother could die and a six year old girl would then be expected to take on the role of female head of the household with all the chores that entails. They didn't see themselves as being able to do anything about all the deaths.
At least with this gadget there was some movement toward containing and keeping a kid safe, even if in retrospect it was not exactly a great idea.