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When Babies Used to Play in Cages Hanging Out the Top Floor Window

It was the high life for these British kids.

Life for a family was simpler back then. Before spreadsheets and Snapchat. When you could put your child in a cage outside the top floor of your house.

Yes, it’s 1953 in West London and as this British Pathé video shows, “an out-of-this-world surprise awaits little Sally.”

Mrs. Morris draws back the curtains to reveal what can only be described as a cage attached to a window. The narrator tells us that this is all some sort of conspiracy, a ruse, as Sally gazes sweetly into the camera. No, you aren’t going to the park today, and no trip to the supermarket either. Brother Paul is in on the secret and poor Sally has no idea.

But no, of course she does! Sally is wiser than you think. She knows the family lacks a garden and the cage provides the perfect way to get a view of this street in Baron’s Court. Paul joins sister Sally in the suspended child-pen even though he’s too old for this type of thing. You should be working, Paul, Sally thinks. Oh well, she gets a kick out of life during this “cagey caper.”

Every day we track down a Video Wonder: an audiovisual offering that delights, inspires, and entertains. Have you encountered a video we should feature? Email ella@atlasobscura.com.