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February 9, 2016

As a Kid, We Always Wanted a Pedal Car: 40 Interesting Vintage Photos of Children Posing With Their Cool Pedal Cars From Between the 1920s and 1950s

When the automobile made its appearance, the pedal car soon followed. Pedal car history goes back to the 1890s when most were modeled from the real cars on the road at the time. Since their conception, pedal cars were all kids wished for. But at the turn of the century, their cost meant they were playthings for only wealthy families. With many families reeling from the financial devastation of The Great Depression, pedal cars were often toys for upper class children. Those not so fortunate played with basic homemade ride-on toys. In the 1920s and 1930s the wealthy were catered to when it came to buying pedal cars since they were the primary buyers. No pedal cars were produced in the mid-1940s when all metal production was directed to the World War II effort.

Reaching the peak of popularity in the late 1920s and early 1930s, pedal cars experienced a resurgence in the 1950s to 1960s with chain-driven models. With postwar prosperity in the 1950s, pedal cars grew more popular and were available in all major stores. From the early 1920s through the late 1960s, pedal cars, like automobiles, were produced in many different models and colors. Designed to incorporate the most current trends of the automotive world, pedal cars featured working lights and horns, moveable windshields and ragtops, chrome detailing and hood ornaments, and white wall tires and custom paint jobs.


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