American National Co.

Toledo, Ohio, early 1900s to ?. "Raise the Kids on Wheels"

Founders Walter, Harry, and William Diemer mainly produced scooters and bicycles. They produced sidewalk toys including pressed-steel trucks, competing briefly with Keystone and Buddy "L" in the late 1920s.

American National was a conglomerate of merging companies consisting of of the Toledo Metal Wheel Company, founded in 1887 by Frank Southard; the National Wheel Company in Petersburg, Ohio; the American Metal Wheel Company founded by J.S. Schoenfield and John McKisson; and the Juvenile Vehicle Woodwork Company, by F.A. Witzler. In 1927 the Gendron Wheel Company was absorbed by American National. By the 1930s American National was the largest manufacturer of children's vehicles in the world and exported pedal cars into twenty-eight different countries.

American National was the first to introduce streamlining into children's vehicles with the Skippy Airflow Chrysler. The Skippy line also featured Ford, Chevrolet, and Pontiac pedal cars, faithfully patterned after the actual cars of the day. American National Company's slogan was, 'Raise the kiddies on wheels.' During this same time the country was experiencing the Great Depression; by 1939 production slowed with heavy losses.

Production continued until WW2 began. It was the beginning of the war effort and the end of an era for American National.

References: Pedal Car Restoration and Price Guides, and Evolution of The Pedal Car, by Neil S. Wood

Updated: 24 April 2019

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American National value and price guide

What's your American National worth in 2021? Here are some recently sold items.

Item Title Date Price
rare tricycle american national co authentic original Rare Tricycle American National Co Authentic Original 09/2021 £220.21
no pictureSee all sold items on eBay for more prices12/2021£-.--

American National forum

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Comments (2)
Roger - May 22, 2019
have a pedal american with hand brake and three speed transmision with tilt steering wheel cant find any info about it would like any info anyone may have
Also check Google images to see if you can find yours.
Elise - August 12, 2011
I have a 1940 or'50 2 wheeler bicycle that has been in my family forever. Has original parts and the spoked little balloon tires, is red, has black seat with a reflector on the rear. I cannot locate a serial number. Is there any information you can give me on the bike? I am about to sell it, and any info would be appreciated. I used to ride this bike to school in the'50s! Tires are still inflated, but possible leak on rear tire. Thank you...Elise