Thursday, April 17, 2008

Library Tribute: We Have Seen The Enemy

and it is a pickle.

Since it is National Library Week, I couldn't resist posting pics of this bizarre baby care book from around 1915. It is entitled The Indiana Mothers' Baby Book. Among its sage advice is this (click photo to embiggen):

"Perhaps an enemy has given him a pickle." Indeed.

I didn't know that Indiana had so many enemies of babies, let alone enemies who go around sticking pickles in their mouths. Proof that Dr. Spock was absolutely needed in future years to come.

Photos: Namey McNamerson on Flickr


Jennifer said...

Thanks Tom, that's high praise indeed!

I suppose if someone stuck a pickle in my 11-month-old's mouth, I might pick a fight, but that's the first warning in print I have ever seen regarding the matter. Too cool.

Elizabeth said...

Holy smokes - what's up with those baby enemies? Did people used to routinely force catnip and saffron tea down their kids? Or pickles? Yikes!

Thomas MacEntee said...

I guess the phrase "You've come a long way, baby" applies.

footnoteMaven said...


Got to like a man who uses a perfectly cromulent word such as embiggen.

Loved this post!


Laura said...

That is just wonderful! What a find.

What's with all the pickles and candy out in Indiana anyway? (Sounds more like what the expectant mother would be wanting...)

Janice said...


What a find! Such an entertaining book! So many enemies, so little time (grin).


Lori Thornton said...

I'm still laughing over the catnip! I'm trying to picture my cat even considering sharing his catnip--much less with a child!