Early Baby Monitors
Baby Facts

Examining the earliest baby monitors

Modern technology has revolutionised the way people live. Go back just a hundred years and people would not believe how far we have progressed. Even fifty years ago, some of our current daily routine would appear insanely futuristic, the stuff of sci-fi, not the stuff of day to day life. Our involvement with modern technologies begins even before we are born, if you think about the scans and treatments carried out during pregnancy and during the process of birth itself.

Technology is usually designed to help solve day to day problems, or to make tasks easier. New parents have a lot on their plate – a new baby is nothing if not high maintenance! Luckily, technology has been making the life of parents progressively easier (though it may not always seem that way). Baby monitors are considered a vital must-have appliance for babies, but how long have they been around? We thought we’d look into it.

Most sources seem to agree that the very first baby monitor was the ‘Radio Nurse’. Released in 1937, the radio was made by the Zenith Radio Corporation. It is reported that the president of the company, Eugene F. McDonald junior, became worried when he heard about a kidnapping in 1932 and decided that it was necessary to examine the potential of radio to allow parents to hear goings on in their children’s rooms at night. The company engineers began work on the project and came up with a specifically designed transmitter which could be attached to a child’s cot (they called this the ‘Guardian Ear’) and a receiver (called a ‘Radio Nurse’) which could be placed on the bedside cabinet of parents.

Not entirely successful, those who did buy the Radio Nurse claimed it also received interference and some radio broadcasts! What it did achieve, however, was to ignite interest in the idea of remote baby monitoring and similar products began to appear on the market. Over the years, technology improved – and so did baby monitors – until we reached where we are today; a world in which great monitors exist to help out!

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