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19cm baby boat feed bottle

Item details

Object number M-446
Manufacturer Maw
Place London, United Kingdom
Date 1920s
Category Curiosities and miscellaneous
Material Glass


In 1894 Allen and Hanbury of London began making double-ended baby feeders, often referred to as baby boat feed bottles or banana bottles. There would have been a rubber teat on one end and a valve on the other enabling the feed flow to be constant. More importantly the ease of cleaning was a major improvement over previous bottle designs which often relied on rubber tubing which was hard to clean and earned these feeders the nickname of “killer” bottles. These earlier unhygienic bottles were openly condemned by doctors at the time but despite this were sold until the 1920’s.

The baby boat bottles were usually made of glass with embossed patterns and manufacturer details as well as graduated markings which assisted more accurate feed measurement. The baby boat bottle displayed was made by MAW of London around 1920.

The feed mixtures which went inside these bottles included animal milk, liquids made from grains and sugar (rather like a baby beer) and a thin gruel like substance called pap made from a combination of bread, water, grain and wine.