Out, Damned Tot!


George Blonsky’s “Apparatus for Facilitating the Birth of a Child by Centrifugal Force,” patented in 1965, is pretty well self-explanatory. The modern woman lacks the muscle tone to deliver a baby easily, so we put her on a giant turntable and let G forces do the work. A glimpse through the patent abstract gives the general idea: “stretcher … handgrip … girdle … ballast … speed … forces … net … bell … handbrake … stretcher.”

A note for expectant mothers — William Potts Dewees’ 1858 Treatise on the Physical and Medical Treatment of Children includes this advice on “the treatment of the nipples”:

[T]he patient should begin to prepare these parts previously to labor, by the application of a young, but sufficiently strong puppy to the breast; this should be immediately after the seventh month of pregnancy. By this plan the nipples become familiar to the drawing of the breasts; the skin of them becomes hardened and confirmed; the milk is more easily and regularly formed; and a destructive accumulation and inflammation is prevented.

I don’t know whether Dewees actually tried this … but it seems likely he did, doesn’t it?