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."
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'
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.
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.