Kids have transportation needs all their own. Sure, there are bicycles and Big Wheels to travel the neighborhood, but what if something needs to be carried along? Ever try to haul a bunch of toys, a pile of dirt, or your pet on a bike? What you needed was a red wagon known the world over as a Radio Flyer. Versatile, indestructible, these metal workhorses have hauled tons of kid-friendly cargo for nearly a century.
The story begins with an Italian immigrant named Antonio Pasin, whose passion was handcrafting wooden wagons. He named his creations “Liberty Coasters” (after that famous statue in NY Harbor) and in 1923, he took a cue from the blossoming auto industry, switched to steel, and began mass-producing his wagons for children all across America.
One particular version, Model #18, became forever known as the Radio Flyer (an homage to the inventor’s fondness for radio and aviation) and was heavily advertised at the 1933 World’s Fair in Chicago, via a 45-foot tall statue of a kid sitting in one of his wagons. From that point, seemingly every kid that saw one was quick to add it to his or her Christmas wish list.