The Diaper Derbies of the 1950s: Where Babies Became Crawling Legends (14 Photos)

Between 1946 and 1955, the Diaper Derby was America’s most loved sports event. The race is a cutthroat competition among future triathletes as they bear crawl past flashing cameras and gushing spectators towards the finish line of lined-up stuff toys.

Babies from all over the country would convene at Palisade Park, New Jersey for this cutest and most adorable race in sports history.

 
A baby preparing for the race at the “Diaper Derby” in Palisades Park, New Jersey, August 8, 1953

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Photo: KEYSTONE-FRANCE/GAMMA-RAPHO/GETTY IMAGES

 
The racers, Aug. 8, 1953

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Photo: KEYSTONE-FRANCE/GAMMA-RAPHO/GETTY IMAGES

 
Racers getting ready, Aug. 8, 1953

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Photo: KEYSTONE-FRANCE/GAMMA-RAPHO/GETTY IMAGES

 
One racer is disqualified for walking upright, 1953

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Photo: KEYSTONE-FRANCE/GAMMA-RAPHO/GETTY IMAGES

 
Hot out of the gate, Aug. 22, 1955

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Photo: HULTON ARCHIVE/GETTY IMAGES

 
Babies chase after stuffed animals during the 8th annual Diaper Service Derby. The event is sponsored by the National Institute of Diaper Services, July 1946

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Photo: CORNELL CAPA/THE LIFE PICTURE COLLECTION/GETTY IMAGES

 
Almost there, July 1946

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Photo: CORNELL CAPA/THE LIFE PICTURE COLLECTION/GETTY IMAGES

He wants to win so badly, July 1946

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Photo: CORNELL CAPA/THE LIFE PICTURE COLLECTION/GETTY IMAGES

 
Gotta get that bunny, July 1946

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Photo: CORNELL CAPA/THE LIFE PICTURE COLLECTION/GETTY IMAGES

 
Parents coaxing their racers, Aug. 22, 1955

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Photo: HULTON ARCHIVE/GETTY IMAGES

 
Eyes on the goal. Gotcha. July 1946

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Photo: CORNELL CAPA/THE LIFE PICTURE COLLECTION/GETTY IMAGES

 
A racer meets canine celebrity J.J. Morgan at the finish line, 1953

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Photo: KEYSTONE-FRANCE/GAMMA-RAPHO/GETTY IMAGES

 
Exhausted, racers were given some post-competition refreshment, Aug. 8, 1953

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Photo: KEYSTONE-FRANCE/GAMMA-RAPHO/GETTY IMAGES

 
Eleven-month-old Peter Ruttenberg, winner of the baby crawling contest at Palisade Park, New Jersey, 1947

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Photo: FPG/GETTY IMAGES

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