Invalid’s Cup

A small white teacup item with a small handle. It is sitting on a red pillow.
Invalid's cup from the Eldon House collection

Country of Origin: Canada
Year: ca. 1918
Materials: Porcelain 

Prior to the 21st century, care for the sick was largely done in the home. An invalid feeder or (as it was also called) invalid feeding cup was used to feed the ill who were weakened by sickness or bed ridden and was meant to prevent spills. This type of device was popular in the Victorian era, both domestically and in hospitals and continued to be used through the early twentieth century, during WWI and the 1918 Spanish Flu Pandemic. The pictured cup is made of white porcelain. It has a round bowl with slightly concave sides and has a curved loop handle on one side. The spout would be used similar to a drinking straw and the invalid or caregiver would tip the liquid therein into the patient’s mouth.