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Playtime or a Parent’s Worst Nightmare: This Is What Playgrounds Looked Like in the 1900s

From cooking to cleaning, different activities have become easier over the years compared to the 1900s. Regarding old playgrounds and play equipment, our great-grandparents deserve medals. Playing in their time involved getting bruises and breaks from homemade slides, jungle gyms, and spinners. However, some equipment was relatively safer. Let’s go on a playful trip to 1900s playgrounds.

Rings and poles- now we know why they were fit

Play in the 1900s was more like a workout. It wasn’t about smiling and sliding. People were fit as youngsters because they worked hard, even when they were playing. Taken in 1905, this picture shows us what swings were like.

Courtesy: Pinterest

Were you expecting the swing in your former school playground? Sorry to disappoint. The rings in this playground were the swings, which you had to climb the tall poles to get to; they were much higher at other playgrounds.

Hanging out up there? No, thank you

As kids, we all wanted to prove we were cool and brave. Being a bold kid required guts in the 1900s. This picture shows us what one of them was like in 1912. Hanging out with your friends requires courage.

Courtesy: Pinterest

What do you need courage for? To climb this 20-foot metal structure before sitting up there. Although there are different ladders to take you up, just sitting so far from the ground is scary enough. But many of these kids were up for it.

Sliding poles- could playing get more dangerous?

While some of the common 1900s playground equipment wasn’t dangerous, others were just so risky that we wonder why it existed in the first place. This 1910s playground belonged to the latter group.

Courtesy: Pinterest

Although the ladders are safe, it’s not the same on the other side. Those extremely long ‘sliding poles’ can get kids injured in many ways. Although they were originally made of metal, wooden options became common later. Are we the only ones thinking of splinters?

Who made swings like these? 

Swings are fun until you’re swinging way back and screaming for help. Did that sound a bit scary? Well, it might scare you more to know that swings made around 1920 were even more dangerous than that scenario. 

Courtesy: Pinterest

The swings in this picture accommodate two kids– and it went very high. The kids were at risk of hitting those thick metal bars. They also weren’t really sitting.

These wooden roundabouts were risky

Speaking of dangerous play equipment, these people-powered wooden roundabouts have to be the most commonly mentioned. They came around in 1919, and they existed for several decades. Ironically, these roundabouts were risky, but kids loved them. More danger, more fun?

Courtesy: Pinterest

You could sit or stand facing wherever you wanted on this wooden roundabout- it just determines who you throw up on, whether it’s your co-riders or the controllers outside. Since older children moved the roundabouts, it was always dangerously fast for the younger ones on it.

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