Few of us today would look at the cradle and think of death as well as life. But 18th-century families had to expect many children to die in infancy, and for them a cradle may have evoked feelings of both joy and loss. A Virginian wrote in 1786, "Our Dear babey just lived with us long Anuf to make us love him and began to play and be company for us and them was taken from us."
Currently not on view
Object Name
Date made
Physical Description
walnut (wood material)
overall: 22 1/2 in x 40 3/4 in x 28 in; 57.15 cm x 103.505 cm x 71.12 cm
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
Family & Social Life
Domestic Furnishings
Artifact Walls exhibit
See more items in
Home and Community Life: Domestic Life
Artifact Walls exhibit
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center

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