So much has been postulated about the evils of the so-called “orphan trains” that somehow were loaded with millions of orphaned children (no one is sure how or why) who were then shipped somewhere nefarious for something nefarious.
No facts established. No diaries. No primary sources. No nothing.
But we do have records of Foundling Wheels or Baby Hatches.
Some Say (!) that these wheels have been used since the 12th century.
They were small doors in the walls of orphanages or convents or churches that could be slid open to reveal a wooden half barrel on a wheel. The unwanted baby was placed in the tiny opening, the wheel spun to expose the offering to whomever was inside and the hand bell rung to say that there had been a new delivery anonymously deposited.
These were unwanted children. Unasked for children. That one-too-many-child. The outcome of a rape. The burden, pain and detritus that a woman carries as a sin.
The reasons are legion for the use of these Foundling Wheels.
It’s the medieval version of the TV show WHEEL OF FORTUNE. Spin the wheel, baby child.