Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Fabulous Find #7 ~ Kiddie Koop


Look what D and I came upon this weekend ~ an original Kiddie Koop! When I turned the corner in the basement level of the River Market Antique Mall and saw this, I had no idea what it was until I saw the xeroxed copy describing this crib/bassinet/playpen from the 1940's. The photo of the baby in the advertisement drew my attention as it looked like some sort of circus attraction ~ it really looks like a cage as it has mesh screen. This one seems to be missing its top ~ yes, there is actually a lid on this contraption! Aside from the wire screen, the chipping lead based paint and the multiple pinching hinges, it seems a wonderful place to keep your baby entertained ~ and contained. What mother wouldn't love to keep her little monkey locked up in a cage while she cooked dinner or caught up on the laundry ~ plus, the rolling wheels would make it easy to transport the little tot anywhere ~ as long as you live in a one story home. I was so entranced by the oddity, that I never did even look at the price ~ also, I've already bought my sister and her husband a baby gift ~ I'll have to put this on the back burner for someone else!

While looking for visuals to go along with my photo, I found out that the Kiddie Koop was, by some accounts, designed by none other than Buckminster Fuller, the father of the geodesic dome. You can read more about the Kiddie Koop here and here. The advertisement above and the images below are all from daddytypes.

18 comments:

Gina said...

lol...when you were telling me about this on sunday julie i thought it was a KITTY coop...why else would you need a lid for it??

Stacey said...

Love the recent posts! The new old finds are especially lovely:)

Inspector Clouseau said...

Nice work. I came across your blog while “blog surfing” using the Next Blog button on the blue Nav Bar located at the top of my blogger.com site. I frequently just travel around looking for other blogs which exist on the Internet, and the various, creative ways in which people express themselves. Thanks for sharing.

robin said...

I am a product of the Kiddie Koop -during the war (II), my folks moved around a lot and use the Kiddie Koop to keep me safe from insects, etc. My two younger brothers and my First born daughter also slept in the Kiddie Koop. The first time the babysitter saw my older daughter in the "Koop", the look was priceless as in "What kind of little monster has to be kept in a cage." I did not use the "koop" for my second child, so when she went over the top of her lovely crib at age 6 months -- and landed on the floor, I wished I had the "Koop" back again.

Anonymous said...

I have one of these found after cleaning out a home. What else can anyone tell me about them? I really have no need for it so would you suggest I contact an antique dealer?

Julie said...

I don't know much more about these aside from the information I posted about. SInce I posted about it though, I have heard from several people that either used one or remembered having one. I suppose an antique/flea market dealer might be the best person to sell it to - or maybe try Craig's list?

Lidian said...

Oh my heavens! A reader just sent me a link to this post, since I was writing about a Kiddie Koop ad - I write about weird retro ads, and, well, this qualified!

That is quite a find ;)

Lidian at Kitchen Retro

http://kitchenretro.blogspot.com/2009/11/all-kooped-up.html

patsy said...

i have a kiddie koop. it stayed at my mom and dads home for years. my sisters and i were put in it. then all our cousins and so on. I have it now for a year since dad downsized. what a surprise ! i found a label on the wooden slat to hold the mattress. it said that kiddie koop is going to war! since metal was needed, they were not going to use metal for springs and or mattress. there is more, but has anyone else have this label on the crib??

Polly Smith said...

My baby bed was a Kiddie Coop. I was born in 1942. My Dad was in the Army, so my Mom and I lived with her parents. My Grandfather was a farmer who also raised chickens and sold their eggs on his egg route. Their farm house of course did not have air conditioning, so the windows had to be left open in the summer. My 4 1/2 years younger brother also used the bed and a number of cousins. I still have the bed, minus the mattress. It had little wheels, not the big ones that I see on earlier models. By then most babies were not taken to the fields in them. I don't know what to do with it. I would love to leave it to a museum that has items from that era.

Julie said...

Hi Polly,
Thanks for leaving your comments - so interesting to hear from someone who actually remembers using one of these!

When you think about it, they are really just a playpen with a lid - it's just that they look like a cage!

I have heard that many that are raising chickens these days use them for that. Maybe you can figure out a different way to repurpose yours if you cannot find a museum wanting to take it.

Anonymous said...

I was a baby in a Kiddie Koop. I was born in North Carolina in 1951. When my grandparents came to meet me, from New England they were SHOCKED at all the bus in North Carolina and immediately purchased Kiddie Koop for my parents to put me in. I have 2 grandbabies on the way and I would LOVE to find a Kiddie Coop to buy!

Anonymous said...

To anonymous who posted in June looking for a Kiddie Koop: I saw one for sale on eBay today, Aug 5,'12. I am a Kiddie-Koop kid & they are indestructible. The 3rd of 6 children, I was born in 1948 while Dad was in dental school;during that time, we lived in a tiny 2 bedroom house. Mother chose the Kiddie Koop because it rolled and was narrow enough to move into their room when quiet (away from my brothers)was needed for nap time. My 3 younger sisters slept in it & later the visiting grandchildren (7). I brought it home a few years ago and I'm now busily making a mattress to fit the crib's non-standard size; my 1st grandchild is scheduled to visit in a couple of weeks !

Anonymous said...

My mother used this for both myself and then my sister (born '46 & '47) and in the photos I have she labeled it the "Kitty Koop". She purchased it so we could sleep without being hurt or bothered by her cat.

Daphne Lewis said...

I have a beautiful Kiddie Koop to sell. It will be on ebay, but it's here now.

nightowl_72 said...

My mother slept in a cot version of this as a baby because they lived on a farm and their cat would bring snakes it had caught into the house!

Susan said...

Until this morning, I had never heard of a Kiddie Koop. But a fellow antiques dealer knowing of my interest in vintage and antique children's bed linens and quilts brought me a lovely hand appliquéd and embroidered spread designed to cover the mattress of a Kiddie Koop. Attached with a straight pin in the corner of the spread was a yellowed piece of paper which read: " This was your spread for your Kiddie Koop made by Hazel H. and given you by Hazel and George. Kiddie Koops were screened in beds. Screened on all four sides and the lid was screened so no flies, cats, etc. could reach you. Yours was a large one-used until you were trained in 1931 and when we moved into our new house." There are 9 windowpane panels on blue cotton bound in white bias edging. Five of the panes contain beautifully hand appliquéd and embroidered boys in short pants sporting paper hats and little girls in white dresses and sun bonnets carrying balloons. Absolutely charming.

Daphne Lewis said...

I still have my Kiddie Koop and I am selling it to downsize if you or anyone is interested...Daphne

Anonymous said...

I have a Kiddie Koop with the original mattress which is made from horse hair.