The Jolly Jumper, a new Canadian creation in 1957

Molly Bobak visits Tabloid to talk about her current career plans and demonstrates the Jolly Jumper, "the Canadian nanny."
Anny Bobak has accompanied her mother to the CBC studio, and they show how a new baby entertainment device, the Jolly Jumper, works in 1957. (CBC Archives)
  On a stopover on her journey from Vancouver to England, artist Molly Bobak has dropped in to  Tabloid for a catch-up with host Joyce Davidson.  But all eyes are on her five-month-old daughter Anny, who is bouncing happily in a new Canadian invention called a Jolly Jumper. 

'This is the Canadian nanny, I think'

Artist Molly Bobak brings a Jolly Jumper to Tabloid in 1957

4 years ago
Duration 1:01
Molly Bobak visits Tabloid to talk about her current career plans and demonstrates a new kind of baby entertainment.

  Bobak has brought it in for show and tell, and young Anny contentedly demonstrates how the baby exerciser doubles as entertainment.  "Apparently they were invented by a grandmother ... and when she got busy she stuck the baby in this little corset affair," says Bobak. 

In 1967, Eaton's Spring and Summer catalogue advertised the Jolly Jumper as providing "fun and exercise for babies aged 3 mos. to walking." (Eaton's Spring and Summer catalogue, 1967)
  It was, in fact, invented by Olivia Poole, in 1910.  As a mother herself and living in Manitoba, she created a similar swing, with a steel spring created by a blacksmith.  But it was not until 1948 that she began producing them for her grandchildren, and they were patented in 1957. 

Poole was part Ojibway, and was raised on the White Earth Indian Reserve in Minnesota.  It was there she had observed the practice of mothers fixing their babies, on cradle boards, to a swing system while they worked. 

A children's shop advertisement which ran in the Toronto Star on Apr. 7, 1958, offered the units for $10.95, and promoted a "See the Jolly Jumper in use" demonstration.