White oval ceramic pap boat shaped invalid feeder with hand painted decorated of red cross near spout with gilt trim along opening, edge of handle and spout; open handle with two raised bumps on back with spout pointing straight ahead; without manufacturers marks; spout opening is part of body; par…
White oval ceramic pap boat shaped invalid feeder with hand painted decorated of red cross near spout with gilt trim along opening, edge of handle and spout; open handle with two raised bumps on back with spout pointing straight ahead; without manufacturers marks; spout opening is part of body; partially glazed base.
Number Of Parts
Collected by Maryanne Szuck and Alice Roeder.
ink: red, gold
Storage Room 0010
With MHC Education Program WWI: The Dirty Details of Disease Oct 2017, stored in Rm 2017.
Unit Of Measure
Gilding partially worn, small minor crack on left side opening
Allison, Eileen Michael. Ceramic Invalid Feeders, Pap Boats, and Baby Bottles of the 19th & Twentieth Century. Canada: E.M. Allison, 1997.
Campbell, Gordon. The Grove Encyclopedia of Decorative Arts. New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 2006. 2006. Accessed August 18, 2016. http://www.oxfordreference.com/view/10.1093/acref/9780195189483.001.0001/acref-9780195189483
Collected by Maryanne Szuck and sister Alice Roeder, a retired nurse. The collection consists of various eras and types of invalid / infant feeders, infant milk bottles, medicine spoons, urinals and reference material.
The 1864 Geneva Convention marked the advent of the red cross as the symbol of impartial medical relief during wartimes and disasters. It was chosen as the Swiss flag in opposite colors to commemorate the Swiss advocate for the institution of this impartial aid and relief, Jean Henri Dunant. This popular symbol seems to have been superimposed on top of the glaze of many feeders after they were fired. One suggestion is that this meant that these were plain, utilitarian feeders were being repurposed for war times, or for hospitals in times of need. In addition, these could be home painted decorative additions to feeders that were meant to be donated as part of charity missions in the early 20th century.
Invalid feeders are designed to provide liquid or semi solid nourishment in time of illness or incapacity. There are many different shapes for invalid feeders. Some of the shapes are defined as infant or invalid feeders, however it seems that each manufacture used both terms interchangeably. The boat shaped, which looks very similar to a gravy boat, originally evolved from the pap boat shape. It has a straight spout, main opening in the top, and an open handle in the back. This is also known as an infant feeder prior to the development of baby milk bottles. Manufacturers would market this item as both invalid and infant feeders depending on the market they are targeting.