Thursday, May 17, 2012

Baby Leasing

I stumbled across this doing research for something else. While I should not be writing blog posts but hauling ass on this last big paper due for this semester's coursework, I couldn't not share this. History is so far from boring that it makes my head want to explode:

The Letter. (Link to Source, Cornell University)

A 1929 letter, from the Superintendent of the Troy Orphan Asylum* (Troy, New York) to the Director of Cornell University (yep, that one) agreeing to lease infants to Cornell's home economics "practice houses." And asking please for 24 hours notice before Cornell comes to pick them up. Holy shit, people... when I was in school, it was dolls, or eggs, or, you know, seedlings. Real babies? Hard core. And very, very disturbing. There's something rotten at the core of domesticity...

* The masthead on the letter for the Troy Asylum reads both: "For children under sixteen years of age, except juvenile delinquents, truants, and mental defectives, as required by law" and "The race marches forward on the feet of little children." I'm not even going to touch these, except to copy them down.

1 comment:

Deb said...

I read a novel about one of those babies. Henry House, maybe? Disturbing novel, and more so knowing that such babies did exist.