Episode 38: Rise of the Helicopter Parent

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Helicopter Parent. The term is usually uttered with rolled eyes and snide remarks. But when you take into account the circumstances of the 1980s & 1990s, it seems that this shift to overbearing parenting was somewhat inevitable. Come along with us as Diane details the history of the rise of the helicopter parent.

Episode 37: Jell-o Salads

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What do the history of women in America and Jell-O have in common? More than you probably realize! In this episode, Jen explores the incredible road to the Jell-O salad and how this bizarre status symbol eventually fell out of favor. Come for the Perfection Salad, stay for the Jellied Veal Loaf!

Episode 36: The Tea Party

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It all started when Jen bought Diane’s daughter an adorable unicorn and rainbow themed play tea set for her 2nd birthday. It got Diane thinking about how much she loved her own toy tea set growing up. Why was pretend tea time such a staple of growing up as a child in America? How long have miniature tea sets been marketed toward little girls, and why have they never gone out of fashion? Tune in to today’s episode to find out more about the history of the children’s toy tea set!

Episode 34: The Baby Cage

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In this episode, we are joined by friend of the show Rachel Kuberry, who tells us all about the history of the baby cage and the historical importance of airing out babies. Why did these devices ever seem like a good idea and why did they fall out of fashion? And what are we still doing today that is essentially the modern equivalent?

Photo taken through a reinforced glass nursery window at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania in 1969.

Episode 32: Hospital Nurseries

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Throughout visual media, there are countless examples of the big window looking over a room of newborn, swaddles babies. The hospital nursery is a sight that most people are familiar with, but has really only been around since the early 20th century. Jen presents her findings into why they were created, some fascinating inventions to make them better serve the hospital community, and why they have become less popular in recent years.

Episode 30: Child Beauty Pageants

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Few things are as quintessentially American as child beauty pageants. And it turns out, they also originated from our home state of New Jersey! In this episode, Jen takes us back to the mid 1800’s to the beginning of the child beauty pageant craze. It goes through many evolutions until we get to the modern version and every step along the way is absolutely fascinating.

Episode 26: The Baby Zoo

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In order to celebrate the end of this truly miserable year, we are sharing a story that is similarly upsetting. Jen presents her findings on the Dionne Quintuplets and the absolutely unbelievable series of events that befell them. From a wicker basket in a farm house in Ontario, to a clinical facility with a tourist viewing platform, all the way to Hollywood, these girls never caught a break. We’re sharing their story here because there is a lot to be learned from their lives especially in our modern world and the age of Kidfluencers. Children should not be commodified and few stories illustrate that as well as the Dionne Quintuplets.

Episode 24: Thanksgiving Masking

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If you live in America, you may be under the assumption that Halloween has always cornered the market on dressing up in costumes. But you would be wrong! From the late 1800s to the 1930s, Thanksgiving Masking was a standard way for children to celebrate on Thanksgiving morning. In this episode, Jen describes this strange custom and why it went out of favor. Get ready to shake your head with disapproval and be a bit offended.

Episode 15: The Prescience of Toys ‘R’ Us

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“I don’t wanna grow up, I’m a Toys ‘R’ Us kid!” We all remember the jingle, and the excitement of stepping into a Toys ‘R’ Us in its heyday. With its rows and rows of toys, the possibilities were endless! And then we all watched as the behemoth of the toy industry crumbled, destroyed by the industry it created. How did Toys ‘R’ Us become such a giant, and what went wrong? Find out in today’s episode!

Episode 12: The Baby Thief

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Ok everybody – buckle up. On this week’s episode we explore something a little sinister: babies being stolen from their mothers and sold on the black market by a woman you’ve probably never heard of. Until now. Cue today’s topic, the woman of the hour: Georgia Tann. Who is this woman, and how did she get away with this horrible scheme for so long? You’ll have to tune in to find out.