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
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 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
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
Skippy model tubular velocipedes from
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
Special thanks to Tricyclefetish reader
Neal for providing the nice scans of the American National 1931 and
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."