taking flight: a tribute to maclaren's history in aviation
In 1965, a British test pilot and aeronautical engineer named Owen Maclaren changed the world when he invented the umbrella fold baby buggy. The inspiration came from his son-in-law, daughter and granddaughter who’d flown from America for a visit. He watched as they struggled to exit the aircraft with luggage, a small child and a very large pram. In this moment, Maclaren saw a common problem – the difficulties of traveling with infants and young children – for which he had an uncommon solution.
Years earlier, Maclaren had developed the complex folding landing gear for the Spitfire aeroplane. A fabrication feat achieved by employing a key war time strategic metal – aluminium.
The unit accomplished several seemingly conflicting objectives. Among them: strength to support the craft and withstand the forces of take-off and landing; lightweight to maximise speed, range and agility; and the capability to fold into a compact space for improved aerodynamics during flight.
These are the very attributes which informed Maclaren’s invention, for which he coined the term “baby buggy”: A strong, durable and light-weight aluminium frame with a compact 3-dimensional fold, like an umbrella.
After perfecting the prototype in his workshop, commercial production began and the world changed: families travelling with young children were no longer anchored to a large pram.
Boarding airplanes, traveling by train and trips in the car were all greatly simplified as the B-01 easily folded out of the way when not in use. It’s light-weight and rugged durability made quick work of a trip to the market or walk in the park.
To this day, Maclaren buggies are descended from the illustrious Spitfire Aeroplane. Through the years of careful innovation and refinement – a strong, durable and light-weight folding frame; crafted from aircraft grade aluminium remains at the core of our buggies.
In honour of our 50th anniversary, The Maclaren Spitfire buggy pays tribute to our roots in aviation.