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The History of the Radio Flyer Wagon

The now-iconic Radio Flyer Wagon was created by Antonio Pasin, a 16-year-old Italian immigrant who arrived in America in 1914 and began working as a manual laborer in Chicago. By night, he built little red wagons and sold enough of them during the day to found the Liberty Coaster Company in 1923, which he named after the famous New York Harbor statue. He introduced the first Radio Flyer Wagon, the No. 4 Liberty Coaster, that same year; it was made of wood and steel. In 1930, he began mass-producing wagons out of stamped metal and called his new creation “Radio Flyer” in reference to the famous Italian invention. His wagons sold for less than $3 each and even during the Great Depression, he sold around 1,500 per day. High sides were added by Radio Flyer designers in the 1950s and, inspired by muscle cars, they added bright colors and slick tires in the 1970s. In the 1990s, an all-terrain version called the Quad Shock Wagon was created to match the rising popularity of SUVs. Today, Radio Flyer Wagons continue to be a classic kid’s item.

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