Wednesday, 12 April 2017

J is for Jolly Jumper

In celebration of Canada’s 150th birthday, my theme for the 2017 Blogging From A to Z Challenge, is CANADA. 

Join me throughout April (every day except Sundays) to learn more about the inventions, the people, and the cultures that make up one of the greatest countries in the world.

J is for Jolly Jumper

Yep, you guessed it. That bouncy harness you (probably) played in as a toddler—the Jolly Jumper—was invented by a Canadian way back in 1910. 

Inspired by the papooses used by Aboriginal mothers to carry their children, Toronto, Ontario mom, Susan Olivia Poole, fashioned a harness of her own—a cotton diaper made into a sling seat, with a coiled spring to suspend her toddler from above. She used an axe handle to secure the contraption, and called it a Jolly Jumper. 

The invention allowed the new mom to work in her home and garden, while her son bounced playfully and safely beside her, toes just off the ground. Susan had six more children and made Jolly Jumpers for all of them, and then, when her children had children, she made more. In 1948, she began to build and sell them.

Of course, today’s Jolly Jumper’s aren’t made with cloth diapers, springs, and axe handles, but the concept is still the same. Did you have one? Mom says I used to try and run in-between bounces—are any of you surprised by that? <grin>

Gotta jet! Thanks for reading today’s post. Check back tomorrow for the letter “K”—it includes one of my favourite treats! 

~ Chase Superman Duffy

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