As seen in the 1920 Sears Roebuck catalogue extract, above, early ‘commercial’ style children’s riding toys were wagons that could be pulled or pushed. Hand-pulled wagons were a popular toy over many decades. By the 1930s, some were adapted to be pulled behind pedal tractors and other riding toys. Some American toddler size tricycles were made with an open box behind, and chain driven tricycles for older kids were common in Great Britain with rear boxes with hinged lids. But the Hettrick Pedal Wagon, introduced in 1948, was one of the first velocipede tricycles of the style seen here. Variants included a fireman’s wagon. The catalogue illustration below is from a 1949 Sears Roebuck catalogue.
1952 Hettrick ‘American’ Pedal Wagon
20″ Front Wheel
10″ Rear Wheels
This fine machine came from Steve, who lives in Sanger, Texas. He had a Hettrick pedal wagon in 1954 with a smaller front wheel when he was three years old (see photo below). His parents bought it from Montgomery Ward.
Steve’s daughter bought this 20″ front wheel pedal wagon for him as a present, to remind him of his childhood. But now he has found one with a 16″ front wheel, so he sold this one to me. We’re wondering about starting a ‘Hettrick American Pedal Wagon Owner’s Club.’
1952 MONTGOMERY WARD CATALOGUE
POPULAR SCIENCE, November, 1948: NEW TOYS
LOCATION: Black Rock Station, Volks Railway, Brighton Seafront