As a new parent, you must have thought – have prams evolved to suit new standards? – well that’s why you’re reading this – we’ve got a short and quick history update for you. Perambulator, pram, stroller, push chair, carrycot, child carrier, buggy, where did they come from, and what’s right for you? One of the odd but interesting questions a new parent asks themselves. The evolution of prams.
With so much on the market, all with extreme variations in price, let’s take a look at how the modern pram evolved. It may help you to appreciate what features you need and what you don’t.
The pram which is a baby carriage for infants and toddlers has western origin and quite an urban invention that picked their pace in the 1800s. Before 1800 babies were confined inside for safety reasons and of course, the lack of facility for babies to ravel safely with convenience for parents. When transporting babies was necessary, they were swaddled in clothing or, among the upper classes, carried by nannies.
In 1733, William Kent, an English landscape gardener, was commissioned by the Duke of Devonshire to build a contraption to carry his children. It was designed to be pulled by a goat or small pony. The idea took off, and was embraced by the Royal family of UK, and then France, before it reached America.
Later an American man named Jesse Crandall made additions to this standard model including a brakes, parasols and an umbrella hanger, and a foldable model in 1830-40. By 1840, the baby carriage became extremely popular. Prams in these days were built of wood or wicker, and brass joints. An engineer; William Wilson, who invented a spring suspension system with a reversible folding hood, the modern pram.
1889, William Richardson patented his idea of the first reversible stroller in the USA. The bassinet was designed so it could face out or in towards the parent. He also made structural changes to the carriage. Wheels in the stroller could rotate on 360 degrees independently from each other. These strollers made of wicker with a leather seat, was the then popular style that was being used in many countries around the world. Less wealthy families had adapted to using prams that were designed to be pulled by goats, or dogs.
The use of prams show broad cultural features concerning safety, hygiene, social improvements, developing views about childhood, parenting and gender norms. With the introduction of pavement in urban and suburban areas in the mid-1800s, the pram became a practical means of transportation. In the 1880s light and fresh air were considered important in the nursing and care of young children, and doctors recommended that all parents use prams.
The general economic welfare after World War II made prams more available to middle-class families, and the pram and stroller industry grew. Thanks to the high birth rate after WWI, baby carriages became available to more families, which demanded better safety modifications. This included new features like larger wheels, brakes, deeper prams (to stop little ones climbing out), and sturdier frames began to appear
Pram styles continued to impress, as they do today, with cushioned seats, shopping baskets, safety harnesses, and ofcourse, various colours.
By the 1950s, baby carriages were a must have for any new parents. Cheap materials and safe designs made buggies affordable and popular.
An aeronautical engineer, on hearing his daughter’s complaints about travelling from England to America with her heavy pram decided to design the first true light weight stroller with an aluminium frame. It was than that this father, and aerospace engineer Owen Maclaren then founded Maclaren which manufactured the revolutionary lightweight design and continues to be the model of practicality.
By the 1980’s companies were manufacturing to meet the demands of parents for a versatile and safe stroller. The 1940’s American company Graco, who use to make metal products, took a new direction and by the 80’s, had developed the combination stroller and child safety seat which included the five point harness. From there the following adaptations have made the lives of many parents that much easier. . In the 1970s, discussion arose about child care and physical proximity, specifically whether young children are better off sleeping in a pram or being carried. Most children continue to be carried by their mothers, older sisters, or other persons in the family or community, and baby slings are common in Europe and in the United States.
New designs tailoring to the needs of the growing child has seen the development of adjustable seat positions. Babies and toddlers can sit up straight or recline to sleep, while still on the move.
Australian Safety standards required that prams and strollers sold in Australia meet a number of safety features, including a warning label, a tether strap (to help careers retain control of prams), a restraint harness and parking brake. Finding a pram that ticks all the boxes might sound daunting, but Baccani prams have got you covered.
After years of it being unfashionable for a man to be seen pushing a stroller, many prams are now are made with height adjustable handles to suit the taller ‘pusher’. Pram designers are conscious of the width of most major supermarket entries and exits (or is it the other way around), to make it easier for parents to shop. Some prams even come with shopping baskets with load retention up to an insane 12-15kg! We can be thankful for the modern designs for more than one such amazing feature of the Baccani prams.
Baccani prams are state-of-the-art strollers that can be transformed from a bassinet to a seat all in one, without having to detach any parts from your pram! It is everything you need, for prices under $ 518!
In this current generation, strollers just keep getting fancier and fancier. Some modern strollers still have the classic pram style, while others have a more contemporary look. The price also ranges from $100 to more than $3000, depending on the features included. Is it a pram? a highchair? a shopping trolly, a spacecraft? It might look strange but baby strollers continue to impress and grow daily.
Now THAT was history… what’s next?