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Jesus in a Baby Walker

Contraptions that keep a baby from falling as he practices walking go way back. The picture above titled "The Holy Family at Work" portrays Jesus in a baby walker while his parents do their chores, painted around the year 1440. It doesn't look all that much different from baby walkers used today, which allow a child to roam upright. However, models from the 16th century are more constrained, and kept the baby to a track that only allowed a few steps- perhaps to keep them from walking into a hearth or staircase. See those baby walkers at Early Modern Medicine. -via Strange Company

(Image credit: Clèves Master)

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Joseph is doing his carpentry, but what type of work is Mary supposed to be doing? The thing in her hand looks like a shuttle for weaving. ??
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