Will the Real Jenny Lind Please Stand Up?

Design History

Jenny Lind cribs and beds are a classic in children's rooms (even modern ones) and we've seen a host of them on Ohdeedoh. Jenny Lind is often mistaken to be a company or a brand, but it's neither. It's simply a style of furniture distinguished by turned posts or what we call spindles. So, just who was Jenny Lind and why is our furniture still named after her?

Was she a:
a) pioneering furniture maker
b) revered opera singer
c) early child safety advocate

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Traditional Jenny Lind crib as seen in Magnolia's Little House in the Big Top

Jenny Lind, born Johanna Marie, was born in 1820 in Sweden and was an...opera singer! After taking Europe by storm and earning the moniker The Swedish Nightingale Lind sailed to New York in 1850 where she was greeted by a crowd of over 40,000 admirers. Under the management of P.T. Barnum she toured across America giving over 90 concerts and was a sensation everywhere she went. President Millard Fillmore declared her performance in the New National Hall the most exciting thing to happen to him since entering the White House.

Simply put, she was the Lady Gaga of her day.

So how did she become associated with the furniture style we still refer to today as Jenny Lind? Many things were named after her during her lifetime including a clipper ship The Nightingale, the Jenny Lind Polka, parks, streets and even a Gold Rush era California town. Cottage-style spindled furniture bore her name after she reportedly slept in a bed with turned spindle posts. The name stuck and so has this style of furniture.

I hope you enjoyed this little history lesson and may all your children sleeping in Jenny Linds be lulled to sleep by nightingales, Swedish or otherwise...

(Top Image: Library of Congress. Second Image: Katie Steuernagle)

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As Apartment Therapy's Family Editor, Carrie covers design and modern homelife with children. A lapsed librarian, she lives in Brooklyn with her husband and two kids and is in contention to break the record for most hours spent at the playground.