The Jumper Chair

My older brother, just a toddler, had a jumper chair back in 1946. We have the picture of him looking quite happy being able to bounce up-and-down and kick his feet in this device. He is outside in the yard and his eyes are fixed upon either mom or dad. It’s likely that one is trying to hold his attention while the other parent takes the picture.

Owen Martin in his jumper chair in 1946

It must be summer as he is dressed in lightweight clothing but on his feet are the sturdy baby shoes of the era. Mom had labeled the photo “1946 – Owen in his jumper chair.” Since he was born in February 1946, he would be about 6-months-old in August of that year. Does this look like a 6-month-old or would it be from the next year? In June 1947, he would be 16-months-old.

I was curious about the chair and found an advertisement for it in a 1946 newspaper.

New, Springy Teeterbabe

The modern jumper chair for any baby 3 months and up. Ideal for home, auto or anywhere, so mother can be relieved. Positively safe. Convenient foot rest and play beads.

Baby jumper chair - Teeterbabe 1946Baby jumper chair – Teeterbabe 1946 Thu, Sep 19, 1946 – Page 26 · Harrisburg Telegraph (Harrisburg, Pennsylvania) · Newspapers.com

This looks identical to the chair that Owen is sitting in. Just imagine putting this in your auto today to take your toddler for a ride. “Positively safe,” the ad says, but we know better now.

I found a later advertisement for it and it touted the benefits of the child getting natural exercise and not bothered by constipation. Baby will be happy and contented and can be placed in the yard to get sunshine.

Teeterbabe jumper seatTeeterbabe jumper seat Thu, Jan 22, 1948 – 5 · The Tampa Tribune (Tampa, Florida) · Newspapers.com

I’m featuring my brother’s picture today as part of the Sepia Saturday blog challenge. The inspiration photo showed a man jumping at the beach. That led me to my brother in his jumper chair.

Exercising On The Beach (1935) The National Media Museum : Sepia Saturday 542, 17 October 2020

12 thoughts on “The Jumper Chair

  1. Positively safe! Sometimes I am amazed that we made it through childhood. haha. I would guess he was a tad older than 6 months, but definitely not a year older. He had a sweet baby face.

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  2. I remember those chairs and the ones that were suspended from beams or doorways. I can’t imagine taking a baby for a car ride in one! Yikes.

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  3. I have a photo of my baby sister in one of those. It was yellow. I don’t recall my parents ever putting it in the car, but then again, I don’t remember any kind of car seat for her.

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  4. Gosh, why didn’t I think of that? Clever take on the theme. My three had a jumper chair and loved it. My grandchildren had an improved model with wheels that allowed them not only to jump in place, but to jump and push their way around the house. Yee Haw!

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  5. Yes, this was before he was walking…but it looks like he was older than 6 mos. I never had a car seat, but my parents provided a small chair (wood, red I think) that was on the seat between my parents so I could see everything as we drove. I believe there were Sunday drives that may have started that early…but I only remember them when I was around 10, and sitting in the back seat with my sister. We did have some injuries, usually from Dad slamming the door on our fingers…which somehow happened more than once!

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  6. I am the oldest of five, so I well remember the jumper chairs that my siblings endlessly popped up and down on. Love that you found old ads for them — and look at those prices!

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