1937 Skippy Sno-Plane Sled

HAROLD VAN DOREN & JOHN GORDON RIDEOUT

air king radio

One of the first generation of American industrial designers, Harold L Van Doren began working in the field in the 1930s. His early visual outlook was informed by a training in art history, studying at the École de Louvre in Paris, lecturing in the Louvre Museum, and translating important texts by Ambroise Vollard on Cézanne and Renoir. He held the post of assistant director at the Institute of Art in Minneapolis from 1927 until 1930 when he established a design consultancy with John Gordon Rideout in Toledo, Ohio.

An early collaborative product was their plastic‐cased Air King radio of 1933, the stepped‐back form of which echoed the lines of contemporary skyscrapers. In the same year Harold Van Doren & Associates replaced their earlier partnership. Van Doren and Rideout worked on a number of designs for children’s play equipment for the American National Company in the mid‐1930s, comprising the streamlined Skippy Airflow pedal car, tricycle, and scooter.

American National Co, which included Gendron among its various Toledo based companies, was one of the world’s leading manufactures of wheeled toys, and their products had an excellent reputation for build quality and longevity. In the early thirties, they decided to update the style of their wheeled toys to reflect the new interest in ‘streamlining.’ Designed by top stylists Harold L Van Doren and John Gordon Rideout, who had just made their name with a revolutionary new style of radio, the Air King, the completely new range of Skippy products made its debut in 1933. The 23 Skippy items included tricycles, pedal cars, bicycles, scooters and sleds.

1934 SKIPPY SLED HAROLD VAN DOREN & JOHN GORDON RIDEOUT

1937 SKIPPY Sno-Plane Sled 3

1937 Skippy Sno-Plane Sled

LENGTH: 52″

WIDTH: 14″

HEIGHT: 29″

1937 SKIPPY Sno-Plane Sled 1

The Skippy Sno-Plane is an American design icon. This example has pitted chrome rail and worn top runners, but is otherwise in remarkably good condition for its age, with its top decals proudly declaring its parentage, and a testament to the quality of its manufacture.

The Sno-Plane was the top of the range model Skippy sled. The 40 inch model was priced at $4.50 compared with $2.70 for the cheapest Skippy Flyer and $3.40 for the intermediate Skippy Racer. The 52″ Sno-Plane was $5.90.

1937 skippy sno-plane sled 9

 

1937 SKIPPY Sno-Plane Sled 2

1937 SKIPPY Sno-Plane Sled 3

1937 SKIPPY SLEDS

1937 skippy sno-plane sled

 

1936 SKIPPY SLED HAROLD VAN DOREN & JOHN GORDON RIDEOUT

1937 SKIPPY Sno-Plane Sled 3

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1937 SKIPPY Sno-Plane Sled 3

AMERICAN NATIONAL CO: SKIPPY BRAND

American National was formed in 1925 as a holding company for Toledo Metal Wheel, National Wheel and American Wheel.  In 1927, American National acquired Gendron Wheel Company and produced tricycles under the names of American-National, Toledo, Gendron, Pioneer, Skippy, Express, Reliance, Hi-Speed, Hi-Way, Speed King, Blue Streak, Sampson, American, and Streamline.  Each company had their own products and catalogs.

1937 Skippy Streamline Velocipede Tricycle 01

1933 SKIPPY RANGE: 23 MODELS

1933

1937 Skippy Streamline Velocipede Tricycle 01

1934 SKIPPY COASTER WAGONS & SLEDS

1934 skippy sno-plane sled

1937 Skippy Streamline Velocipede Tricycle 01

1934 SKIPPY SCOOTERS & HAND-CARS

Skippy-Racer-SCOOTERS-1934

1937 Skippy Streamline Velocipede Tricycle 01

1936 SKIPPY TRICYCLE

1936 skippy copy

1937 Skippy Streamline Velocipede Tricycle 01

1938 SKIPPY COASTER WAGONS

1938 skippy de luxe coaster wagons

1937 Skippy Streamline Velocipede Tricycle 01

1940-1941 SKIPPY PEDAL CARS & TRICYCLES

1940-41 skippy

1937 Skippy Streamline Velocipede Tricycle 01

1941 SKIPPY SNO-PLANE

1941 skippy sno-plane sled

1937 SKIPPY Sno-Plane Sled 3

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1937 skippy sno-plane sled 20

1937 SKIPPY Sno-Plane Sled 3

1937 SKIPPY STREAMLINE VELOCIPEDE TRICYCLE

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1937 SKIPPY STREAMLINE VELOCIPEDE TRICYCLE

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1934 SKIPPY PATENT HAROLD VAN DOREN & JOHN GORDON RIDEOUT

 

1937 SKIPPY Sno-Plane Sled 3

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1937 SKIPPY Sno-Plane Sled 3

Harold L Van Doren info with thanks to – http://oxfordindex.oup.com/view/10.1093/oi/authority.20110803115157190