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Manufacturer:  American National   Site of Operations: Toledo, Oh
Founder:     Contact Information:  
Parent Company     Website:  
Tricycles Made Since: 1927   Notable Lines/Models: Pioneer, Gendron, Toledo, Skippy, Streamline, Express
Still in Business: No - Sold in 141    

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.

 

In the late 1930’s, American-National had financial difficulties.  In 1941, the assets and all rights to the product line were purchased by a group of Toledo industrialists headed by Walter H. Diemer.  Previously, Mr. Diemer was the President of American-National.  The new company was incorporated as the Gendron Wheel Company, Perrysburg, Ohio.  The company was organized “to manufacture, import, export, buy, sell, and in general deal in wheelchairs, playground equipment, and other juvenile conveniences of every kind”.

 

All of American-National plants were closed except the Gendron Perrysburg plant. Due to the war effort, Gendron concentrated its efforts on wheelchairs and hospital stretchers. However, they continued to manufacture wooden wagons and playground equipment. Catalogs from the 1950”s and early 1960’s show playground equipment and hand car racers with the trade name Howdy Doody.

In 1959, Gendron Wheel moved most of its manufacturing to Archbold, Ohio. The Perrysburg plant was closed in 1963. In 1964, the company became a subsidiary of Howmedica, however the Gendron trademark continued. In 1971, Mr. Robert Diemer and Mr. Richard A. Bigelow purchased the company. It became Gendron-Diemer. In 1975, Richard A. Bigelow purchased Mr. Diemer’s interest and the company became Gendron, Inc.. In 1997, Mr. Bigelow sold the company to Steven W. Cotter, Thomas A. Dewire, and Frederic W. Strobel.

 

American National Catalog Pictures: Click thumbnails for much larger images.

American National No. 10, 11 tricycles from the 1931 catalog.

American National catalog page from 1931 showing an American model trike.

Blue American tricycle from 1931, page shows model numbers and sizes of each.

The Princeton model tricycle in red from American National's 1931 line with model numbers and relative sizes.

The Boulevard model tricycle in green from American National's 1931 line with model numbers.

Tubular Velocipedes models 19-300 and 19-320 from American National's 1939 catalog.

Channel steel framed model from American National's 1939 catalog - model numbers.

1939 American National Skippy model 19-330 (top) and American National model.

1939 Skippy branded Spring Steel Health bike tricycle.

Skippy model tubular velocipedes from 1939 catalog.

 

1939 American National Skippy Health Bike with tandem seat attachment.

 

More tubular trikes from American National's 1939 line.

American National Streamlined Pedal Bike from 1939, model number 19-714.

Tubular velocipede tricycles from the 1930 American National catalog.

Streamlined Pedal Bike model 19-710 from 1939.

Special thanks to Tricyclefetish reader Neal for providing the nice scans of the American National 1931 and 1939 catalogs.

      You'll notice that most of the tricycles do not have model names, merely numbers.  The Skippy models are sometimes distinguishable by an embossed headbadge that reads "Skippy."

 

 

 

 

Toledo Tomboy head badge.

American National Indian Chief headbadge.

Toledo Tomboy rear step.

 
       
     
1930's American National Tot 1930's American National Tot 1930's American National Tot American National tricycle type ride-on toy.
       

1920's era American National fendered tricycle with tubular frame.

1930's restored American National Tot tricycle.

Another original American National Tot trike.

American National tot tricycle circa mid-1930's with Streamlined Modern design lines.

1930's Toledo Tomboy tricycle.

American National "American" circa 19-teens-1920, transitional tube and strap steel trike.

American National Gendron trike circa late 1920's.

American National Indian Chief tricycle, circa 1930's.

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Tricycle Fetish is the only online source for antique tricycle and vintage tricycle information. We have spent numerous hours collecting information on tricycle manufacturers to provide you with a history on your old tricycle. We have included hundreds of antique tricycle photographs from the early 1800's, vintage tricycles from the 1940's to contemporary tricycles of today. We've answered thousands of questions over the years and will continue to help you in your research well into the future. We adore these tricycles just as any child would and collect them ourselves. If you find any helpful information on your tricycle here, please let us know. We love to hear from other tricycle enthusiasts. Send us photos your tricycle restorations or a photo of the trike that is special to you and we'll include it here on the site. We'd also like to include a link to your site if you provide tricycle parts, supplies, repair kits, restoration or any other type of tricycle related service.
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