Quite often it takes an enquiry to make you look at material in the archive which can otherwise be seemingly forgotten. I recently had an enquiry from someone interested in a leaflet on ‘Sister Laura’s Food’, which we hold in the archive and it is the first time I have even looked at this particular piece. I thought therefore, it would be interesting to share.
The ‘food’ was developed in the early 1900s following the work of Sister Laura Marian Smith. Sister Laura was a nurse in charge of the Children’s Dispensary at the Glasgow Royal Maternity Hospital from 1897-1922 and was concerned about the high levels of malnutrition she was seeing in children.
Whilst breastfeeding was promoted as the best option for infant feeding it was recognised that there was a need for artificial feeding, for example for orphans, abandoned children or where the mother was not able to breastfeed. Whilst there were already several infant feeds on the market at the time Sister Laura’s differed in the fact that it was made up with milk and was also cheaper than existing alternatives.
This leaflet dates to around 1950 and includes a brief history of the product on one side with a maternity chart on the back as well as a tear off section to send for a free sample of the food.