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Time Traveller: Here's how the Jolly Jumper was invented in North Vancouver

Poole Manufacturing Co. Ltd., which first mass-produced the Jolly Jumper, was located at 161 Pemberton Ave.
Time Traveller, April 21 editionWEB

Olivia Poole (left photo) was one of the first Indigenous women in Canada to patent and profit from an invention – The Jolly Jumper. She called the North Shore home when her creation was patented in 1957.   

Olivia's baby swing was inspired by her childhood growing up on the Ojibwe White Earth Reservation in Minnesota. There, she saw the traditional practice of using a bouncing cradleboard to soothe babies.

In 1910, when the first of her seven children was born, Olivia remembered the Ojibwe women and babies, and she made her first version of the Jolly Jumper using a cloth diaper, an axe handle as a brace, and a blacksmith-made steel spring. 

All of Olivia’s children and grandchildren used the Jolly Jumper as babies – her grand-daughter Tracey is pictured in 1958 (right photo) using an early prototype of the Jolly Jumper. 

Her family’s business, Poole Manufacturing Co. Ltd., which first mass-produced the Jolly Jumper, was located at 161 Pemberton Ave. in North Vancouver from 1957 to 1959.

The Poole family sold the business in the 1960s.

Visit the MONOVA website for more information about the history of the North Shore and to learn about MONOVA: Museum of North Vancouver opening in 2021.

Currently, the Archives of North Vancouver at 3203 Institute Rd. in Lynn Valley is open by appointment only. Contact: archives@monova.ca

Navigate culture on the North Shore by using the North Shore Culture Compass