January 19, 2005

Who's The Genius Who Invented The Crib Bumper?

Because it seems pretty much unnecessary, yet it now represents about 30% of the baby industry. Entire villages in Africa are kept working to hand-embroider $700 crib bedding sets that you'll have to remove as soon as the kid's old enough to roll over (and smother himself against the bumper) or stand up in his crib (and climb out using it).

Turns out it was Leo Koltun, an ingenious playpen pad salesman in Chicago, who needed to come up with a use for WWII-surplus padding. And since baby boom babies maxed out at, at most, one playpen pad each, he invented the "all-around crib and playard [sic] bumper system." The company he founded, Kolcraft, is the #1 crib mattress manufacturer in the US.

Now go get yourself on Jeopardy and make me proud.

The History of Kolcraft® [kolcraft.com]

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