Child's Pedal Car

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This pedal car was made by the Kirk–Latty Manufacturing Company during the early 20th century. Early pedal cars reflected the design of their larger gasoline driven counterparts—often missing lights with starting cranks on the front. This Kirk–Latty's lights seem to have been added to the car at a later date (and they look like they are a product of the 1930s). There is no crank, it seems likely the car was manufactured before in the late 1910s or early 1920s. Almost as soon as the first automobile took to the roads, American children played with car toys, read car books, and even learned how combustion engines worked. Making cars a part of kids' lives-even kids whose families didn't own cars-helped make automobile ownership appealing to future generations of car buyers. Because much of this material targeted boys, it helped shape a society in which women were far less likely to own and drive a car.
date made
Kirk-Latty Manufacturing Company
Place Made
United States: Ohio, Cleveland
Physical Description
steel (overall material)
overall: 24 in x 20 in x 43 in; 60.96 cm x 50.8 cm x 109.22 cm
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
See more items in
Work and Industry: Transportation, Road
America on the Move
Family & Social Life
"America on the Move"
Exhibition Location
National Museum of American History
Data Source
National Museum of American History


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