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Maclaren Baby Strollers- A Brief History

For the past 42 years, Maclaren stroller designs have led the baby stroller industry in innovation and inspiration.  Each year they continue to add new products to their buggy line that are more impressive than the last.  The Maclaren name has made such a success in the business of baby strollers that over the past few years they have expanded their vision to other baby products including carriers, rockers, toys and an all natural health and beauty line. The history of this company reveals it's ladder to success.

By 1940 the founder and original innovator of Maclaren Baby, Owen Maclaren had made a good name for himself in the area of aeronautical design and engineering.  After many years designing and engineering products for other companies, Maclaren decided to retire from his profession.  Just four years later, in 1944 he co-founded his own company called Andrews Maclaren, LTD.  Based on Owen Maclaren's broad knowledge of design and engineering the company went on to invent the world's first folding aluminum product released to consumers in 1961 called the Gadabout chair. The Gadabout chair is still available today and has set the standard for folding chairs and travel chairs.

A few years after the Gadabout was released, Maclaren received his inspiration for the invention that would lead to his fame and fortune.  The first umbrella stroller, which Maclaren called the baby "buggy" was developed and released in 1965.  Upon arrival from a trip overseas, Maclaren's listened as his daughter complained about the frustrations of travelling with her pram baby carriage.  At this time a pram was the way primary tool for parents to transport their children.  They did not however, travel and navigate very easily. Their bulk and weight made them difficult to maneuver and fit into smaller spaces.

Maclaren applied his expertise when inventing the B-01 stroller. The aluminum frame was lightweight and durable which made for easy lifting yet a sturdy,safe ride.  The buggy weighed only six pounds and folded neatly like an umbrella into a compact size so it could be transported with ease when not being used.   It was the first buggy of it's kind and changed the way strollers were thought of and designed forever.

In 1976 Andrews Maclaren., Ltd. released their second buggy called the Pram Buggy, beginning the extension of their product line.  This buggy had the design of the original pram yet integrated Maclaren's folding technique and lightweight aluminum qualities first exhibited in the umbrella buggy.  The pram buggy also served as a "carrycot"  or baby carrier as we know it today and was able to be removed from the frame to carry the baby.  Owen Maclaren also patented a foam tire to provide a more comfortable buggy ride.

Throughout the 80's, Maclaren strollers continued to lead the industry in groundbreaking additions to their strollers.  The contributions include front swivel wheels for easy maneuvering and linking brakes to optimize safety.  The first fold flat buggy was developed and introduced during this time which allowed for infants who could sit in a straight position to be reclined while in their stroller.

Again in 1991, Maclaren adds another irreplaceable invention to their reportoire, the first car seat buggy.  Parents everywhere can now carry their baby from the house to the car to the stroller without ever taking the baby out of the carrier.  This has been a revolutionary addition to strollers and began the concept of today's travel systems.  It should also be mentioned that along withe their car seat buggy,  Maclaren strollers also released the first twin umbrella fold buggy called the Duette, made to fit conveniently through a standard doorway and fold easily for storage.

In 1992 Maclaren is asked by Euro Disney, upon it's opening to be the stroller supplier for their site.  Within the year Maclaren was serving all three Disney parks exclusively.

The past ten years, however have been the busiest of all.  Collaboration in 2005 with designer Philippe Starck brought forth the Maclaren signature looks which are now evident in their strollers as well as other nursery products.  Top niche, modern design concepts give the strollers added charm and character such as the "Life is a bed of Roses" stroller which has the phrase stitched into the front of the seat.  The Starck signature stroller itself has a unique design that lends an ultra modern and sophisticated feel to the stroller body and exhibits the edge Maclaren has had from the beginning of stroller history.
In 2007 Maclaren launched their token beauty line called beginning.  All beginning products are formulated with 100% natural, organic botanical geared to holistically nourish the mind, body and spirit of mother and child.  Maclaren recognizes the important process of mother and child bonding and designed their beauty line to encourage the emotional and physical connection of the two.  Products such as massage oil, belly balm and bath and shower gel are designed to rejuvenate and implore the senses that energize the mother and child relationship.

In addition to all the Maclaren contributions in the stroller and baby care industry, there is a list of charities readily supported by the company such as The Hunger Project  and K.I.D.S.

In 2008, Maclaren introduced several new additions to their stroller family.  The Maclaren 2008 line boasts The Volo, the Quest Mod and the Quest Sport.  All very attractive additions to their already fantastic arrangement of buggies.  Maclaren strollers are featured  in many fine department stores such as The Four Seasons in New York City as well as FAO Schwartz which dedicates a showroom area to Maclaren products alone. 

As you can see over the past 42 years that Maclaren Baby has been in business many evolutions have brought them esteemed success.  Still the world's leading stroller manufacturer in innovation and design Maclaren continues going strong.


If you are interested in learning more about the evolution of the baby stroller, check out A History of Baby Strollers. When you are ready to begin shopping for a stroller our articles Which Stroller is the Best for Your Lifestyle, Dad Friendly Stroller Features and Rear-facing Strollers vs. Forward-facing Strollers can help you to narrow down your decision.

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