Estimate: $3,200 - $3,600
Description: The Estate Road Show proudly presents the incredible long term collection of pressed steel, extruded plastic & die cast metal vehicles, plus precision machined earth moving equipment from the respected Beverly Newmire estate. This next lot represents an original 1936 to 1938 Gendron Wheel Co. pressed steel childs two seat pedal car, in the Scarce SKIPPY Ladder truck model #28-175. Our example has the (5) tiered painted winged grill, in lieu of the (4) tiered pattern found on the Pioneer #28-173 ladder truck. We also sport the teltale white piping forward of the cab. not found on the Pioneer. Research verifies that this eclectic truck has the proper reticulated wheels, Flash Gordon style headlights & the heavy top bell assembly, and the bench seat contains the Eagle + wheel Gendron decal. There is no siren, but we may have the ladders on another truck, in which case they will be added. The only opther item that we can find wanting, is the near cab cowl fire department plaque, that should be available. ** NEIL S. WOOD in Evolution Of The Pedal Car, Volume #5 (1999), shows a less fancy 1938 Gendron two seat ladder truck on Page 181, listed at $2,800 13 years ago! This is a piece of American History, as well as a valuable pre WW II collectible. Please see our Gendron history below. In 1865, when Peter Gendron left his fathers wagon-making company at the age of 21, the furthest thing from the young French-Canadians mind was to manufacture pedal cars. He left his Canadian home with his wife, and they moved to Toledo , Ohio. He found a job working as a pattern maker for the Toledo Novelty works, which was run by Russell Thayer, staying there for six years. For unknown reasons, Peter left the company and moved with his wife to Detroit Michigan, where he went to work for the Detroit Safe Company. But apparently Gendrons inventive mind did not limit itself to thoughts of bank vaults and safes. While he was in Detroit he conceived the idea of a lightweight wheel. An ingenious young man, he perfected a design and process for making lightweight wire wheels, much superior to the heavy, solid wheels of the time. After the wheel was perfected, he incorporated ball bearings into the hubs, to reduce the friction and wear as the wheels rotated on the axle. His invention needed some additional refinements, but he knew that he was truly on to something big, so he returned to Toledo to work on modifying the wheel. In 1877, Peter and three associates began the large - scale manufacturing of lightweight wheels with ball bearings. The first vehicles to use the new Gendron wheel were velocipedes (large adult tricycles of the 1800â¿¿s) and baby carriages. Sadly, the new company lacked sufficient capital to put the product on the market, and consequently the venture was a failure, and Gendronâ¿¿s firm was forced to close its doors. Peter Gendron was a very persistent man though, and never gave up on his invention, so upon moving back to Toledo, the GENDRON IRON WHEEL COMPANY was incorporated three years later, in 1880, starting out small in a factory at 210 Summit St. in Toledo, Ohio . Because of the strength and durability of Mr. Gendronâ¿¿s wheel, the product was a success and firm grew rapidly. Gendron began designing and producing a variety of cycles and other wheeled vehicles. Within 3 short years the company had grown too large for the site on Summit Street , and a move became inevitable. A new site at the corner of Orange and Superior Streets was purchased, and it was upon this site that Peter Gendron built his very impressive four-story factory complex. In 1890, his dream was at last coming true. The success of his company increased dramatically over the next few years, and by the turn of the new century, the firm rose to the forefront of the growing U.S.bicycle industry, with Toledo becoming known as the COVENTRY OF AMERICA, after Coventry , England, the center of the mammoth British bicycle industry. Gendronâ¿¿s advertisements billed the Toledo plant as The Worldâ¿¿s Largest Factory Devoted to the Making of Childrenâ¿¿s Vehicles. During the early 1900s, the company was producing bicycles, tricycles, rolling invalid chairs( ancestors of the modern day wheel chairs), go carts, baby carriages, coaster wagons, toy wheelbarrows, and other items. In the toy auto assembly plant, scores of Gendron employees crafted iron, steel, and wood into childrenâ¿¿s pedal cars. The scene was remarkably similar to the assembly line of a full â¿¿size automaker of the day. By the 1920s, Peter Gendron was producing miniature cars resembling the cars the grown-ups were driving at the time. Gendron became known as one the pioneers of the pedal car industry. His pedal cars were sold under the name of PIONEER, becoming one of the most successful of the firmâ¿¿s products. Before long, the name Pioneer and Gendron were known around the world, virtually synonymous with high quality pedal cars. Their workmanship was excellent and their detailing exceptional. Some of the features of the Gendron pedal car included: cylindrical rear gas tanks, tool boxes, imitation cranks (for starting your car), and nickel trim. At the height of Gendronâ¿¿s success, press reports noted that Santa Claus has a tough job, but the Gendron Wheel Co., one of Toledo â¿¿s largest manufacturing plants, irons out the wrinkles which makes his task a thousand fold easier, with the production of childrenâ¿¿s vehicles. The pedal carâ¿¿s heyday was not to last though, and in 1927, Gendron was forced to merge with The American National Corporation. With its fading fortunes went the company itself. The firm relocated to Perrysville , Ohio in 1938, and its Toledo factory was abandoned shortly thereafter. In 1940, Gendron, although still known as the Gendron Wheel Co., left the pedal car business forever, devoting its production exclusively to hospital equipment. By 1964 the company was purchased by the Howe Sound Corporation of New York. Although the old Gendron factories and storage buildings have been torn down, and new buildings now stand in their place, the toys that made Peter Gendron famous still command a special place in the hearts of pedal car enthusiasts. Vintage Gendron vehicles are still being found in attics, basements, and at auctions, and their value continues to grow. If you are ever lucky enough to own a Gendron pedal car, you will understand the work and love that went into building this wonderful toy. Many of the wonderfully restored Gendron originals were lovingly detailed by D & S Pedal Car Restorations of Tempe, Arizona. D & S has specialized in Professional High Quality Restorations of all types of Pedal Cars and Electric Powered Promotional Vehicles since the late 1990s, catering to Collectors, Museums and Enthusiasts. Repair & restoration of Go Carts, Wagons, Tricycles and many other types of wheeled memorabilia are also undertaken. Research consulted: Evolution of the Pedal Car Volumes # 1 to 5 / Edited by Neil S. Wood; Pedal Cars Chasing the Kidillac / by Jane Dwyre Garton; Pedal Cars / by Larry Bloemker, Robert Genat, Ed Weirick; plus the outstanding dspedalcarrestorations.com & pedalcar.net websites. We are also extremely grateful to Ms. Linda Portell for her outstanding Gendron history, found in the pedalcarnews website...... from the collection of Bob & Bev Newmire from Branson MO (former Toy Museum owners) -- part I of three parts to be sold Jan 6th. More toys, Buddy L, Keystone, Signs, Pumps, Whizzer bikes, do not miss!
- Condition: EXC C-8 + condition, lite scratches & minor wear
- Provenance: Provenance
- Dimensions: L: 41 W: 15 H: 22 LB: 30 OZ: