Like most new parents, Sheldon D. Vanderburgh, an inventor from Hastings-on-Hudson, New York, felt exhausted from taking care of a constantly crying baby. The solution? A homemade baby hammock. First, Vanderburgh built a basket-like bed by fastening netting to round end pieces. After hooking the basket onto a wooden frame, Vanderburgh realized that his swinging cradle would be far more effective if it could rock itself. He assembled a clock-spring motor that could rotate a crank arm attached to the shaft, and behold: a self-operated hammock. As a bonus, the gentle ticking noise would soothe his baby to sleep.
Read the full story in "Rock-a-Bye Baby--In Your Self-Operated Cradle"