In another day and time, sick adults and children who were very weak were fed with the use of invalid feeders such as this one. They enabled food to be given to one who was either too infirm or too weak to feed themselves, tolerate solid feedings, were not strong enough to sit upright for feedings or to be fed with a spoon. The invalid feeders were also called pap boats, referring to the thin porridge that filled them. Shaped like a gravy boat or genie's lamp, these feeders have a long thin spout, not unlike a straw, through which the thin liquid contents such as soup, broth or tea could slowly be delivered to the patient's mouth without spilling and without expending a great deal of effort.
This small feeder could have been used to nourish a small child, given its size. The feeder measures 5 3/4 inches from spout to handle, 3 inches tall to the highest part of the handle and 2 1/2 inches wide.
This feeder is decorated with a white slip design applied before it was fired. The handle has a small flat thumb rest for a better grasp. The base is unmarked. It will hold about 1/2- 3/4 cup of liquid. There are no chips or cracks. This was acquired in England ten years ago.
This little white feeder would make a great addition to a white ware display or a medical collection. Thinking out of the box, this could be used very easily for watering small plants, too.