These Astonishing Vintage Photographs Show Just How Tough Kids Raised in Yesteryear Were

Those were the days before they put the word ‘care’ into childcare. Author Chris Wild has unearthed some astonishing historic photos for his book — The Retronaut Guide To Raising Children: The Past Like You Wouldn’t Believe.These pictures show just how tough kids raised in yesteryear were. A far cry from the cotton wool parenting of today – parents of the past raised their kids tough. While the Mumsnet generation of parents must be reaching for the smelling salts, we can only say: Please, don’t try this at home!

Got a light, kid? These kids look far too experienced at smoking cigarettes for their age.


Hung out to dry: These babies certainly don’t look like they are enjoying hanging out the washing.


Fighting fit: Baby boys given tiny boxing gloves in a makeshift boxing ring.



Children receiving sun ray treatment at the child welfare centre in Harrow Road, west London. It was thought the treatment prevented anaemia and chest infections.


Synchronised swimming: Novice bather’s learn on a ‘merry go-round’ at their school in Cincinnati in 1930.


That’s one way of making sure your baby gets fresh air. This baby is suspended in a wire cage hanging from an apartment block.


Children sleeping on the roof of a school, for orphans.


A toddler is left in an empty mesh rubbish bin while his brothers have gone to play.


This concerned mother fastened a sign to her son asking motorists to watch out for him.


A day nursery in the East End of London, where the children shelter in a linen cupboard during an air raid.

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