Episode 28 – Childhood in America

Freake-Gibbs Painter, Elizabeth Clarke Freake (Mrs. John Freake) and Baby Mary, 1671–1674, oil on canvas, Worcester Art Museum, 1963.134

Did you know celebrating a child’s birthday, telling children stories about pirates and fairies, and entire industries focused on children (i.e. Disney) would have been unthinkable in the 18th and much of the 19th centuries? Childhood, as we understand it today, is a fairly recent invention. Join us as we discuss Puritans, the Devil, agricultural work, factories, labor unions, and motherhood in this episode!