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Baby Contests

Another forgotten chapter in our history

BB-trophy-colorThis unique campaign of “scientific” baby judging was based on detailed and complex examinations and measurements. Club women, nurses and a few female doctors spread this movement across the United States, Canada and beyond, from 1908 into the 1930s. Beginning at state fairs, it spread to towns and cities of all sizes. At the movement’s peak in 1913 and 1914, scientific baby contests were held at 40 state fairs and several hundred county fairs and in crowded industrial cities. – The goal was to reduce the very high rates of infant mortality through educating mothers about proper sanitation and feeding by means of group instruction of the mothers who showed up as well as individual advice and follow up with participants.