Dealing with children

Lee Gilliland

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Feb 14, 2003
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In a discussion with friends last night, a couple of questions were raised, one of which was did the Titanic stock supplies for very young children? My husband was remembering Zwieback toast, which apparently was in use longer than I had thought - would they have carried it in the ship's stores?
 

Mary Hamric

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Apr 10, 2001
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I don't know but I gave Zwieback toast to my daughter while she was teething just a few months ago. You can find it in any grocery store today.
 
Apr 11, 2001
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Arrowroot biscuits is an old staple as well and has been around (Nabisco Company) forever. I have a great book called Edwardian Childhood which I will check out. Interesting topic. I see semolina, oatmeal, applesauce, and other soft foods on many old liner menus-and of course milk, tapioca and other soft, digestibles for invalids, faint constitutions and youngsters!
 
Jan 28, 2003
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I definitely think I have a 'faint constitution', Shelley. Do you guarantee that the aforementioned will turn me into a busting, muscle-bound, athlete? Because, if you do, I shall follow the programme religiously. (What exactly is it, for God's sake?)
Monica
(fairly feeble, hopeless ...and unAmerican...)
PS don't think you have to commit yourself to trying to help me out here. It's probably far too late...
 

Lee Gilliland

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Feb 14, 2003
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So I supposed they mushed the veggies, etc., themselves, instead of buying it - and of course, as we're speaking pre-blender, anything not easily ground with a sieve-and-mill system was out!
 

Bob Godfrey

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Nov 22, 2002
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Monica, have you tried Mellin's Food? Very popular in the Edwardian shopping basket and "the best food for hand-fed infants, invalids, convalescents, dyspeptics and the aged". It's all I can manage these days, but on special occasions I get Farex and when I can borrow some teeth I enjoy a Farleys Rusk.

Looking through my collection of 1912 advertisements, there are plenty of milk and malted milk preparations for infants, including an assurance that "three generations of babies have been successfully raised on Borden's condensed milk". Borden? Hopefully that was a honest claim from somebody without an axe to grind. The solid foods for babies (eg Gerber and Heinz) start to appear in the late 1920s/early '30s, but even then it would be a long time before the average mother didn't make do with home brews of ground cereal, mashed veggies, meat extracts and soft fruits. All this will be new to Inger, of course, who was raised on Vegemite.
.
 
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Vikki Aris

Guest
Slightly different from the original post, but still on topic, I think - I have a couple of questions about children's lives.

How much time would upper-class children have spent with their parents? I have always understood from a variety of sources that it wasn't much at all - and likely to be scheduled, at that (eg children join parents for tea, or half an hour before bed). However, I'd be grateful if someone could confirm that for me.

Also talking of upper-class children - at what age would a child stop spending all their time in the nursery and perhaps get a room of their own that isn't in the nursery suite?
 
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João Carlos Pereira Martins

Guest
Your questions are very interesting and I suppose nobody had already answered it properly in ET.

Regarding your first question: a lot of my family was born in the servants class (one of grandmothers was personal maid in the 40's, the other one was cook for a rich family during twenty years and one of my great-grandmothers worked as an housekeeper in the 20's). My great- great-grandfather was born in 1882 and he once told a story that upper class women were almost obligated not to spend a lot of time with their children. They had parties, dinners, social appointments, so, I think half an hour before go to bed is correct. I suppose little children would join their parents only for a bit, to be presented to family friends, drink tea or just amuse the relatives during the "soirée", but certainly for a short time.

Second question: I can't really give you a complete answer, but in my opinion it would be different in every families. My supposition is 14 or 15 for the boys and not until 16 for girls (this age was very important for women: they were presented to society, stopped using child clothes and were confirmed at church.) And even if they got their own room, a tutor or a maid would have stayed close to their quarters. Hope this helps.

Best, JC
 

Mike Poirier

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Dec 31, 2004
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Hi Vikki
Well, my friend Lawrence, was the child of Lusitania survivor Beatrice Witherbee Jolivet. The father was a wealthy stockbroker. He described his upbringing in the 1920's a benign neglect. He spent most of his time with a governess and had about an hour at night with his parents. They were very social, flapper types as he said, and were always invited to the best parties in town, so their son was raised very formally by servants and then off to Stowe, which is a boarding school in England. Although when it came to travelling he was always brought along. They did not leave him and always fully participated in the family activities like grouse hunting on the moors of his aunt's castle.
But day-to-day it was structured by his governess.
I hope this gives you an idea
Mike
 
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Vikki Aris

Guest
Thank you both for your replies - pretty much what I'd thought. Good to have confirmation of it!
 

Ben Lemmon

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Oct 9, 2009
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I know that I am entering this post a little late, but did they have nurseries in middle-class homes? I recall them having a nursery in Peter Pan and those people seem to be around middle class. Any information would be appreciated.