Nurturing Yesterday’s Child


A true collector’s item, Nurturing Yesterday’s Child offers an illustrated history of the care of children from early Greek, Roman and Egyptian times to the present – a history that will inform you and touch your heart. There is much to fascinate a parent and particularly those with medical connections and interests.

Dr. Theodore Drake (1891-1959), co-inventor of Pablum, collected feeding vessels, rattles and teethers, amulets, furniture, books, stamps, and coins during a lifetime of medical studies and practice in Canada and abroad. His collection encompasses some 3,000 artifacts, 1,500 rare books, 1,000 prints, 1,000 coins and medals, and all child welfare stamps up to the 1950s.

Nurturing Yesterday’s Child is a remarkable tribute to a remarkable man who showed the same amount of care and thoughtfulness when amassing this vast collection as he showed for the health of children throughout a long and distinguished medical career.


This beautiful book will appeal to anyone interested in children and in art from a historical viewpoint.

University of Glasgow

The book is utterly wonderful.

Hannah Institute for the History of Medicine

A beautifully produced book ... more than a catalogue, a fascinating history of the feeding of infants.

The New England Journal of Medicine

Every chapter is accompanied by illustrations taken from the collection. But the reader recognizes that the usual procedure is here reversed: the real illustrating is done by words, for the purpose of better understanding the pictures. The authors have achieved a solid work of information and interpretation within a highly readable text ... Whether or not [the readers] visit the collection, this book will leave their minds informed and their imagination enriched.

University of Ottawa

The book is a rich and beautifully crafted storehouse. Every page is filled with familiar delights for me and others who feel at home with the Drake collection .... You have produced a jewel.

About the Authors