Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Pointed Historical Fact

Today is the centenary of the filing of the patent for a modest nursing attachment that allowed a mother or wet nurse to breastfeed an infant in public "without attracting the errant gazes of men," according to Jeffrey Kacirck, author of Forgotten English.

The inventor submitted a drawing to the U.S. Patent Office of a "buckled, five-strapped leather harness that included pointy metal bra-cups, which held onto the mother's nipples with suction." (ouch!)

The inventor then went on to promise, "Whenever the child requires nursing, it is only necessary to slide one of the nursing nipples out from the waist and the child can obtain its proper nourishment without the exposure of the mother's person and the consequent embarassement which is often occasioned."

The U.S. Patent Office, in its infinite wisdom, granted the application on February 15, 1910.