Two Victorian Pap Boats… Pap Boats or Invalid Feeders were for feeding small children, the ill or the elderly. The Blue Onion or “bulb design” on the left, was a Chinese design, but became extremely popular in Europe of the 18th and 19th centuries, and was reimagined by other manufacturers in response.
– In its earliest usage, ‘pap’ referred to breast-feeding infants. “Pap” meant ‘breast’, “nipple,’ or even ‘teat”. By the 18th century, ‘pap’ also referred to a sweet-tasting, heavily diluted, porridge or gruel, similar to baby food. Pap was comfort food… soothing, often sweet and easy on the stomach and on the digestive system. If toddlers or babies were ill, medicine was often mixed into the pap formula so that the dosage could be taken with a minimal amount of fuss. Recipes for pap typically called for milk, occasional fruit juices, flour, butter, sugar, softened breads and/or breadcrumbs.
Would You Comfort an Invalid?
If you would, follow this etiquette…
- Look hopeful, never despairing.
- When requested to read the news, omit the death list.
- Tell only the pleasant tidings; there is no fear of for getting the evil.
- Sigh, if you must, after leaving the sick-room, not in the presence of the sufferer.
- Leave stiff linen cuffs outside – in England, where they are fashionable, if you like.
- Refrain from telling about a similar case in which the invalid died a shocking death.
- Let every article of food be delicately dished, taking only small, tempting quantities.
- If you must chew gum, munch popcorn or nuts, wait until a half-mile away from sensitive ears.
- Make the most of the luxuries at hand without expatiating upon the charms of the unattainable.
- If your sick ones think the curtain is green when it is really blue, what harm in allowing them to think so? – L. Sturges, 1892
Etiquette Enthusiast, Maura J. Graber, is the Site Editor for the Etiquipedia© Etiquette Encyclopedia