'Long live the bottle': The rise of the French bottle-feeding industry in the nineteenth century

Gal Ventura*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

This article highlights the development and design of the modern French feeding bottle, created during the nineteenth century, an era in which modern consumerism coincided with the medicalisation of childhood. Three main reasons elucidate this transition: growing concern for children, the failure to abolish wet-nursing, and the rise of the commodity society. Based on hundreds of feeding bottles, advertisements, pharmaceutical catalogues and manuals composed by physicians and midwives, this article analyses the complex relationship between the object, the users, the manufacturers and the socio-medical environment. By examining the feeding bottle from historical, material and visual perspectives, while unfolding the scientific, technological and economic factors that contributes to its design, this article highlights the vast changes that took place in the medical attitude towards childhood, hygiene and bodily functions, as a direct result of consumer demand.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)329-356
Number of pages28
JournalSocial History of Medicine
Volume32
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 May 2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author 2017.

Keywords

  • Bottle-feeding
  • Childhood
  • Maternity
  • Medicalisation
  • Nineteenth-century France

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