1908 Ford Runabout Pedal Car

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1896 FORD QUADRICYCLE

The evolution of pedal cars follows close behind the evolution of the automobile. In the adult world, farm wagons became motorised by the turn of the century, and became electric cars. Meanwhile, engines were added to pedal tricycles, which then became quadricycles and evolved into ‘cycle cars’ which were lightweight petrol-engined automobiles in contrast to the heavyweight electric automobiles. For a while nobody knew whether the battery or the petrol engine would win the day. Bear in mind that there were no garages or petrol pumps in those days, so both formats were equally inconvenient. An 1879 patent for an engine on a bicycle by American lawyer George Seldon prevented the development of the automobile industry in America, and it wasn’t until Henry Ford challenged it in court, and won. The legal battle turned Henry Ford into an American folk hero, championing free enterprise and the people’s car. His Model T was introduced in 1908 (below).

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 1908 Ford Runabout Pedal Car

LENGTH: 36″

I’m not sure of the age of this pedal car. Its style is from the first few years of the twentieth century, but the first automobile used a tiller rather than a steering wheel; the Ford script (below) was first used in 1907, and the Model T introduced in 1908, so I’ve assumed that age for the pedal car. As it has treadle propulsion I don’t believe it to be a later pedal car commemorating the Model T.

1907 PEDAL CAR CATALOGUE

 

 

 

 

1910 PEDAL CAR CATALOGUE

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1915 PEDAL CAR CATALOGUE

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