Is it just me, or does this look more like an oven than a maternity ward incubator? Explosion Proof? Really?
I’m sure that in 1955 new parents were comforted by this technology. Anything that helps premature babies is a good idea, but a bright orange Explosion Proof bumper sticker on the front – as if the parents didn’t already have enough to worry about. The minute I saw it in the Cayuga Museum of History and Art in Auburn, New York, I knew it would be post fodder. Some photos are just too good to pass up.
In thinking about ideas and angles for this post I wanted to know more of the history, and of course, the internet provided what I needed. After reading and thinking about it a bit, I came to a couple of conclusions about technology.
First, I have fond memories of the past, but I’m not one of those nostalgic people pining to go back. As Billy Joel said: “Cause the good ole days weren’t always good.” I’ll take all the technological help I can get, thank you very much.
And second, there isn’t a day that passes I don’t marvel at what an incredible resource the internet is. This drawing was part of the original patent application for the incubator which was submitted in 1955. The drawing in itself isn’t particularly interesting, but what is interesting is that someone took the time to upload it to the internet, and I found it. There’s lots of mind-warping rubbish online for sure, but what a fantastic resource. How on earth did we make it before internet technology?
As further proof that lots of new ideas are good ideas; these marvels were also invented in the 1950s: phone answering machine, super glue, power steering, video tape recorder, Mr. Potato Head, polio vaccine, Saran Wrap, non-stick pan, solar cell, microwave oven, velcro, Fender Broadcaster and Telecaster guitars, the Hula Hoop, and (for those that didn’t fall for the Hula Hoop fad), the pacemaker. The source for this list came from the internet of course.
6. Daderot via Wikimedia Commons
8. Courtesy of George Lerner, inventor
9. John Seb Barber via Wikimedia Commons