Invalid and Infant Feeders
Invalid feeders are still used in many European countries. Most Americans have never used an invalid feeder or even seen one. In American they seem not to have been used much past 1930 and even many nurses working at that time have no knowledge of them. Certainly the supply of imported feeders was greatly diminished by the restrictions imposed during World War I.
American made invalid feeders and pap boats are, unfortunately, not very common, and ceramic baby bottles appear to be non-existent. A look at the pottery industry in early America helps to explain why. America has never been as big a manufacturer of ceramics as many European countries. It had a late start. When Meissen of Germany, Se'vres of France and Wedgwood, Worcester, and Chelsea of England, to name just a few, were making beautiful ceramics and experimenting to produce even more lovely wares, America was still an English Colony. As such, American colonists purchased, as was expected, and in fact required by law, most of their china from England. It must be remembered that the "colonies" were established to enrich England, not compete with her!
Characteristics of cup feeders – dates are approximate: 1800 – 1875 Straight spouts were the norm 1800 – 1880 Flat half-covers used almost exclusively 1875 Curved spouts became common and by the 1880s are the norm 1890s Convex covers began to appear 1911 Both flat and convex covers used 1925 Almost all half-covers are convex 1927 Some feeders began to have short spouts placed high on the feeder
Older cup feeders usually have straight spouts, flat half covers and frequently sit on straight foot rims. Minton, Coalport, and Davenport are exceptions, they usually have curved spouts and Davenport feeders have splayed foot rims.
Open silver feeders date from the last part of the 1600s and Ceramic from the late 1700s to 1880s (with the exception of the "duck billed" feeder that was made until the 1940s or ‘50s). "Transitional" shape feeders date from the mid-1800s to the early 20th century. Some of the most elaborate cup feeders are circa 1900.
“Boat Shape” feeders date from the mid-1800s to the present and were often called pap boats in the latter part of the 19th century and invalid feeders in the 20th century.