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When Were Baby Monitors Invented? A History of Baby Monitors

When you have children, you worry about being there for them both during the day and night when they are sleeping. However, this is unhealthy for you, so I would advise getting your kids a baby monitor so you can check on them whenever you want.

When were baby monitors invented? I’ll talk about the answer to this question in the sections down below. In addition, you will also get more details about baby monitors in general!

Main Points

  • Baby monitors are devices that many people use, and their invention goes back not even a hundred years. The first baby monitor was invented in 1937!
  • The name of the first baby monitor was Zenith Radio Nurse, named after the manufacturer Zenith Radio Corporation. 
  • It is known that the first baby monitor was quite expensive at that time, but still, they were purchased by a high percentage of people.
  • Zenith Radio Nurse was a baby monitor that provided only audio and worked with some kinds of amplifiers. 
  • Nowadays, baby monitors offer us many features, one of them allowing people to see how their babies are doing, with the help of cameras.

Since When Do Baby Monitors Originate?

Baby monitors were originally made during the year 1937. The name of the first baby monitor was Zenith Radio Nurse.

The brand that took over to create the first baby monitor was called Zenith Radio Corporation. The Zenith company’s owner was Eugene McDonald Jr. and he is known as the man who made parenting easier. However, the person who designed it was Isamu Noguchi.

Also Read: Are Baby Monitors Safe?

How Was the Very First Baby Monitor?

So, the name of the first baby monitor was Zenith Radio Nurse, and there were two types, one was in oval form and the other one looked like a square. They were both made of a combination of plastic and metal, and they were quite durable.

Zenith Radio Nurse monitor worked with two units of sound systems that were called the Guardian Ear and Radio Receiver. Basically, it was an amplifying system that made the baby monitor work properly.

It was only an audio system through which parents noticed whether the babies are crying or making any other noise during the day or night. Basically, parents could only listen to the babies doing anything while in their rooms.

At that time, the price of Zenith Radio Nurse was about 30$ which was quite expensive for many people, yet it was one of the most used devices by many people. When compared to nowadays prices it is like this baby monitor’s price tag is around 500-600$ which is a lot.

SpecificationFirst Baby Monitor
NameZenith Radio Nurse
Manufacturer Zenith Radio Corporation/Zenith Electronics
President of Brand Eugene McDonald Junior
DesignerIsamu Noguchi
Dimensions8 x 6.5 x 6.5 inches (20.32 x 16.51 x 16.51 cm)
MaterialsPlastic + Metal
Price Range (at that time)25-30$

Note: Nowadays, exact models of Zenith Radio Nurse baby monitors are found in many museums in America, such as in California, Los Angeles, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Yale University Art Gallery, and many other places.

Also Read: Do I Need a Baby Monitor?

Was There a Specific Purpose for the Invention of Baby Monitors?

Interestingly enough, behind the invention of the first baby monitor is found a quite shocking and chilling reason, that lead to this amazing innovation.

In 1932, in New Jersey, there was a kidnapping of a child, Charles Lindbergh Jr, son of Charles Lindbergh (American Aviator). At that time, this kidnapping was known as the Crime of the Century as the child was taken from its own room!

After this occasion, Eugene McDonald Jr, concerned about his daughter’s security, came in hand with an idea to protect his daughter, and since then comes the first baby monitor!

I know that this story isn’t the best one to tell but it is the main reason why nowadays we have these amazing devices that help us look after our children in the best way possible and I know that every parent has at least one.

What Kinds of Baby Monitors Exist and are Available Today?

With the extreme upgrades and updates in the world of technology, baby monitors nowadays are the first devices people purchase the moment they become parents and they are the most needed things.

Today we have a super considerable number of baby monitors and you can choose whether you want it to be just audio or with a camera attached. There is wireless too for connecting them with our smart devices and they work perfectly.

I have used the VTech VM819 baby monitor which is an immersive monitor and a big helper for me as a mom. Also, there is one audio baby monitor from this same brand and it is VTech DM111.

Features of Today’s Baby Monitors

I mentioned above the connections and the fact that there are both audio monitors and camera baby monitors you can use, but there are some other features I am happy to share with you.

With a modern baby monitor you can:

  • Check out your baby from the TV, with different connections.
  • Turn on some music for them in order to help them sleep calmly.
  • Use night vision technology when in darker rooms.
  • Talk with your baby from the remote the monitor comes with.
  • Have an impressive range of connections wherever you go.

Also Read: When to Stop Using Baby Monitor

Final Words

When looking back at the history of the invention of the baby monitor, the first thing we notice is its shocking history, but as I said through the article, that shocking occasion is the main goal and the main reason why these devices were created.

It is more than normal when you check out the innovations done in the world related to technology to see perfect baby monitors today, but still, for the time the Zenith Radio Nurse baby monitor was the perfect purchase to go for, even though quite pricey for them.

I hope you liked what you read in the article above, and I hope you found out everything you needed to know related to baby monitors!

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