Olivia Poole

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Olivia Poole
Born 1889
Died 1975
Known for Inventing Jolly Jumpers

Susan Olivia Poole (1889–1975) grew up in Minnesota at the White Earth Indian Reserve.


Susan Olivia (née Davis) Poole, a.k.a. Olivia was born in 1889 and died in 1975. She was part Ojibway and a talented pianist who studied music at Brandon College in Manitoba, Canada where she met her husband, Delbert Poole, who was studying for the ministry.

As a child Olivia watched her elders strap their babies to cradle boards to carry them as ‘papooses’. While working in the fields, a mother would often hang the papoose on a sturdy tree limb and soothe the baby by occasionally pulling on the limb to cause a bouncing motion.

Olivia remembered this in 1910 when her first child, Joseph, was born in Ontario, Canada. She made him a swing and called it a Jolly Jumper. She made the harness or saddle from a cloth diaper and a blacksmith created a soft-action steel spring. An axe handle was used for the spreader bar.

In 1942 Olivia and her husband moved to Vancouver, British Columbia. When grandchildren arrived, she continued to make Jolly Jumpers as she had for all of her seven children and by 1948 Jolly Jumpers were ready for mass production.

Olivia Poole and her son, Joseph Poole patented Susan’s invention in 1957 and manufactured ‘Jolly Jumpers’ at Poole Manufacturing Co. LTD. in British Columbia, Canada.

This Canadian invention is still being produced today in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada under its original name, Jolly Jumper. Today Jolly Jumpers are made with either a door clamp or on a portable stand.