This antique baby nurser dates back to at least 1902, because I know it was used by a certain relative in my father’s family who would now be 113 years old. There were fourteen children in that family… three older children born to the father and his first wife who died when those children were very young… and eleven more children born to the father and his second wife. I am sure this nurser was used by more than one of those babies throughout the years.

The black rubber nipple was long gone by the time this nurser was given to me, but the black rubber stopper and some of the other rubber fittings were still on the bottle, although in a very crumbly condition. The rubber parts have since deteriorated even more, although the glass tubing is as good as new. The bottle itself is in perfect condition and is made of a light greenish-blue glass… there are a lot of air bubbles in the glass, and it is obviously hand-blown. The bottle has no seams and no corners, and the contoured shape is comfortable to hold. The bottom of the bottle is flat, and the angle is such that it looks like a baby could drink from the nurser without anyone holding it. I wonder if that was the reason for the flat bottom.

There are raised letters saying “Manhattan” on the top side of the bottle, but I have never been able to find any information about a company of that name. When I looked in a reproduction copy of the 1902 Sears catalog, I was surprised to find a fairly wide selection of similar baby nursers. These drawings and descriptions are from the catalog. The brand is different, but the fittings look similar to the ones that were on the nurser I have. I can only imagine how difficult all those glass tubes and rubber parts would have been to keep clean!


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MamaArcher

What a treasure to have! I would be afraid that it would break! We have eight children and only have one bottle in the house, breastfeeding is great but sometimes on the rare occasion a single bottle can come in handy especially as the babies get older.

Sarah Rogstad

Wow, old glass bottles and other things are really neat to look at. Thank you for sharing

LadySnow

I found one of those in my grandmother’s belongings to. That is so awesome…the 14 kids I mean….I know families with 7, 10, and 14 children as well. :D

Love Sows Seeds

What a wonderful thing to own and so interesting. Thanks for sharing it and a little of the history..

Mommy

Wow! How very interesting! I always wondered what people “back then” did if they couldn’t nurse their babies. I always assumed they hired a wet nurse. But I guess they had bottles then too. Thanks for sharing. I really enjoyed reading about it! :)

jean

What a wonderful treasure! I have never seen one before and how awesome that is was used by your family!

Kristy Jo

wow, how absolutly facinating especially cause like you said most babys were probably nursed back then!

what a wonderful piece of history you got there! and glass? could you even imagine that now?? HA

Amy

That is very neat! What a great treasure to have from your family
~Amy

Hootin' Anni

*choking*….not over the baby bottle….but lordy….14 kids? And I think I’m tired and aged from having just a measly two kids!! LOL

Monica

This is great. What a treat to learn of this with pictures to boot!

Mary

This antique nurser is wonderful. And such precious family memories with all the babies it has fed. A great family keepsake. Be sure to hold onto it. These are not easy to find. Thanks for sharing this interesting bottle.

Jane

At first I thought it was a glass bed pan – how funny is that ?!! I think it is unique and amazing how the invention of things changes so much through the years. Thanks for sharing,
Jane

Lana G!

Wow!! to the nursing bottle and the 14 kids! Great treasure!

Philippa

How great that you have one of these bottles. My understanding is also that the flat bottom allowed the nurser to be put down on a flat surface while the child was nursing – hands-free, as it were, which must have been very enticing if you had 10 or 11 little children around you.

I saw a collection of these at the Museum of Childhood when I visited London last year and remember reading about the difficulty of properly cleaning them. This led to many infant deaths. It seems the long tube variety was even more dangerous than those with rubber nipples, which were invented later and were easier to clean.

Jessica

We are having construction dont to our house to to water damage and the construction workers found the same bottle but on top of ours is a ciricle with the words Perfect Nurser. I think these are amzing. they also found a 1878 medicine bottle, wiskey bottle, Hair restorer bottle.