It was called the frog test.
According to research collected and posted on Wikipedia, mice used to be injected with the urine of the person to be tested and the mouse was later killed and dissected. Presence of ovulation indicated that the urine contained hCG – meaning the female was pregant. Rabbits were also used – but needed to be killed to check the ovaries. The frog tests, however, arrived in the 1950s… allowed the frog to remain alive and the frog could be used repeatedly. “A female frog was injected with serum or urine of the patient; if the frog produced eggs within the next 24 hours, the test was positive.” Who would have thought?
For more information about early pregnancy tests, check out this website address: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pregnancy_test
Why the sudden interest in pregnancy tests? I’m not pregnant – nor considering the possibility. Been there done it – and David was our little miracle.
Today – I had enough mental energy to tackle some of Mom and Dad’s things I brought home from the condo. There was a beautiful wooden box I discovered in Mom’s dresser drawer. It was full of all kinds of sentimental reminders that Mom had collected in silence. There were letters from Dad, naturalization papers for my Grandfather from Russia, pins, an anklet from Dad to Mom, buttons, receipts for some of Mom’s designer clothing… and a copy of a frog test.
At first, I thought it had to be a joke. What the heck? I mean seriously, who gets a frog test? Furthermore, the technician was listed as PMS. Seriously? North Bay Civic Hospital issued the test and test results: positive. Mom was pregnant in 1957. Jamie would have had another little sibling…
I knew that Mom had lost a baby boy a week before he was born. “Baby Duff” was his name – I think Dad was supposed to have named him – not sure what happened, but I do know that was something we didn’t often talk about. Crazy, though, if this was the only “evidence” of Baby Duff – a frog test from 1957.
All in all, it does bring a joke to mind that Dad used to tell and we all groaned when he told it. It goes like this – and forgive me – remember it’s Dad’s joke.
“Did you hear about the guy who stayed up all night long studying for a urine test?”
That’s it. You are welcome. Brought to you by Mom’s frog test.
Ribbit or read-it… your call!