It actually was an invention of the mayor of a small town in New Jersey, and was used to discipline certain children. I have to believe it was done with the blessing of the parents, but the whole thing sounds gruesome to me.
The Spanking Squad
Photo credit: New York Tribune
Spanking children isn’t the disciplinary measure it used to be. One New Jersey mayor was such a fan that he organized a special spanking squad for young criminal offenders.
Arthur C. Whitaker was mayor of Bridgeton, New Jersey, during the 1910s. He had an automated spanking machine installed at City Hall and sentenced young offenders to it instead of sending them to reformatory schools. Once he passed down sentence, the squad would carry it out. They could regulate the duration and intensity of the spanking based on the harshness of the crime.
According to Whitaker, over 100 boys and a few girls faced the machine during his seven years in office. He labeled the experiment a success, with parents even voluntarily bringing children to him when they misbehaved. Despite this, Whitaker still saw it fit to keep the device a secret while it was in operation.
I was always under the impression that the parents should take care of that sort of thing at home. I certainly don't see any way I would trust the spanking of a child to the mercy of any government agency or their Spanking Machine!
Coffee out on the patio this morning.