How to parent, according to the archives of Popular Science


In 1938, somebody thought this would be a good way to ensure that nobody left the hospital with the wrong baby.

Ayn Rand apparently thinks it’s just dandy. Perhaps if shiftless indolent infant doesn’t want a sunburn, it should buy its own sunscreen, rather than expecting its parents to provide for it.


Makes you wonder what BoingBoing 2113 will be saying about our technology-obsessed culture… In 2013, people actually thought that letting their children interface with the world primarily via small, bright image screens was a good developmental idea…


How on earth did you get from sunlamps to Ayn Rand? The mind, it reels!

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The sleeping porches are still in use in Orthodox Jewish areas of Brooklyn.

I’m assuming because “Ayn” is observing the branding…

They branded me with Science!


The short smiling lady in the picture rather resembles Ayn Rand - though I think Rand was actually fairly skinny.

Also, she was never observed to smile.


In 1938, somebody thought this would be a good way to ensure that
nobody left the hospital with the wrong baby.

Someone who was obviously not that baby, who seems to be strenuously objecting to the procedure.


You best be glad it was a UV lamp and not some radioactive isotopes…


Perhaps all it would have taken is to brand an infant in front of her… C’mon, Ayn, turn that frown upside down – Bzzzzt.


Safely and securely welcome your child to the 20th century with a Beta Burn™.
Hmmm, 1938… That’s a wee bit too late for the Radium craze and too early for all the artificial reactor stuff.

Roffle roffle roffle! The only problem is, infants, being utterly self-centered, are the ideal exemplars of her philisophy, such as it is.

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Quite a bit of these have modern equivalents that none would think twice about. The bike carrier now goes behind the seat now. The scary looking auto cradles have become auto swings. Alas, no one has made serious effort to solving the screaming baby on transportation issue.

Before babies irritated people on commercial flights, they disturbed the peace on passenger trains. “We have been hoping for years that some intelligent inventor would come along with a device to can obstreperous infants during the late hours of the night,” we wrote. “We suggested a hermetically-sealed can wrapped in sound-proof material, but Caleb M. Prather, of Evanston, Illinois, who is the inventor of the can illustrated, sidestepped our instructions at several important points.”

Will no one save us the terror of red eye flights with screaming infants? I know they could leave theirs at home rather than torturing and us and their infants… They seem insulted when I bring it up, though.

There’s always Benadryl. Not suggesting it, just saying.

On one of my more torturous red eyes, I had similar thoughts. I suspect it’s not great for babies though and my suspicions aside, I doubt parents who are content to let their babies’ experience the ear-pain inducing flights aren’t likely to give benadryl to their kids.

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