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Worldbreastfeedingweek, Voices

200 Years Of Breast Pumps, In 18 Images


8/2/2020 1:00:00 PM

Modern mamas, be happy you don’t have to contend with some of these. WorldBreastfeedingWeek


on sites like Etsy.Looking at older images of breast pumps, they seem rather outdated and yet in many ways, very familiar. We looked through photo archives and compiled a roundup of historical images and original designs of breast pumps.Without further ado, here are 18 fascinating glimpses into their history. Modern mamas, be happy you don’t have to contend with some of these.

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1Claire Richardson/Science Museum/Getty ImagesBreast pump, late 18th century."Glass collecting bowl with brass syringe. Breast pumps were used to help women express milk when breastfeeding."2"Pump for extracting breast fluid." Woodcut. 1830.

3United States Patent and Trademark OfficeBreast pump patent for Orwell H. Needham, Jun. 20, 1854. Text excerpt:"The flexible shield has the following advantages: First, those of softness and elasticity, by which a great degree of pain and irritation caused by the use of glass is obviated in cases of sore nipples or inflamed parts; secondly, the india rubber shield will not act as a ligature on the lacteal vessels in breast pumping, which is likely to occur with a glass shield, and lastly by properly managing the pump and supplying air to the glass through the vent hole in the tube the effect and sensation produced upon the nipple and breast are exactly similar to those produced by a sticking child, the shield collapsing down upon the nipple like the pressure of the child's tongue and other parts of the mouth."

4United States Patent and Trademark OfficeBreast pump patent for Robert C. Gray and Charles E. Gassin, filed Aug 11, 1874. Text excerpt:"Our invention relates to an improved breast pump, combining with a flexible tube and removable air-chamber a removable cap or diaphragm, for imparting suction to a tubular flexible rubber cushion for the nipple, substantially as hereinafter set forth and claimed."

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