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Our holdings include hundreds of glass and film negatives/transparencies that we've scanned ourselves; in addition, many other photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs) in the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) They are adjusted, restored and reworked by your webmaster in accordance with his aesthetic sensibilities before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here. All of these images (including "derivative works") are protected by copyright laws of the United States and other jurisdictions and may not be sold, reproduced or otherwise used for commercial purposes without permission.

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[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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Free-Range Babies: 1946

Free-Range Babies: 1946

Infant cages and babies sunbathing on nursery lawn in the Israeli settlement of Gat. February 12, 1946. View full size. Matson Photo Service.

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Gat, Israel

It must have been warmer here in February 1946 than February 2008. I'm freezing my backside off, and can't imagine babies being naked outside in this weather!

Baby cage

I had one in the front yard as a child that my father built to prevent me from running into the road. Seems strange now, but I'm probably alive today because of it. It was fun. I called it my playhouse.

Wow. I would have assumed

Wow. I would have assumed that the babies would have got too hot and sunburnt left outside for the length of time that having specific cages built there would suggest.

[Probably not in February - Dave]

Kibbutz Gat

The so-called cages were there, simply, to keep flies and mosquitoes off the babies...

This was taken at a kibbutz which is located about 3 miles from my own kibbutz, Gal-On, which at the time did not yet exist and only was founded some months later, in October of 1946!

The Matson Photo Service was an endeavor of the American Colony Society in the Holy Land. The American Colony was an independent, utopian, Christian sect formed by religious pilgrims who emigrated to Jerusalem from the United States and Sweden. The history of the Colony is intimately linked to the photography collection it spawned.

To this day the collection, now mostly housed in the Library of Congress, remains the most extensive photographic record of the Middle East.
Very highly recommended!


The closest thing to these cages I've seen is an infant hospital bed; they are completely closed in!

I have a home daycare....I wonder how this set up would go over with the parents!!!! :-)

Baby cages

I don't think I've ever seen an infant cage till now. That's definitely something that wouldn't float these days.
Cute little guys getting some sun!

SHORPY HISTORICAL PHOTO ARCHIVE | History in HD is a vintage photo archive featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1960s. (Available as fine-art prints from the Shorpy Archive.) The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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