-----  Nursing Bottles  -----

Nursing bottles (a.k.a. "feeding bottles") were used extensively during the "wet nurse" movement prior to the introduction of glass. While certainly beautiful ceramic feeding bottles were also extremely difficult to clean (and knowing whether it was being cleaned) properly.


The contents (generally milk) were poured into the top opening with the liquid's flow regulated by covering and uncovering the top's opening. The spout's tip was also typically covered with a soft cloth or chamois leather.


Now a reality check - as you can see in the photos below the feeding bottle's top hole (or aperture) came in all different sizes with many clearly larger than the average female thumb (the normally described way the apertures were regulated).  This accounts for the fact that it is not uncommon to find bottles with corks or cork fragments stuck inside them. I am also of the opinion that some ceramic bottles also came with metal and/or wooded lids (though I have never seen one) as evidenced in the illustration below.  


As with all things feeding bottles were also made in silver and in pewter (see photo below).

Feeding bottles came in all different sizes, shapes and heights (see photos below).

While the typical feeding bottles, and older ones, were designed to basically lay flat and the spout pointing straight out some came with refined nipple shaped spout tips, more box than rounded shapes and having spouts turn upward at the end (called "cow horned")(see photos below).

Interesting comparisons of illustrated feeding bottles with the original bottles - 

Example of a large and beautifully detailed blue & white tranfer-printed feeding bottle:

Example of a Brampton saltglazed Queen Victoria feeding bottle:

Example of a Staffordshire feeding bottle other than in traditional blue & white transfer-print: 

Other nice examples of feeding bottles similar to the ones shown above:  

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