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America on the Move
Collection Exhibition Themes
Open Top Car
Catalog #: 295669.921, Accession #: 295669
Currently on display
From the Smithsonian Collection
This early open top car toy reflected the state of automobile development: it bears a striking resemblance to a carriage, and rather than having a steering wheel, it has a tiller.
Physical Description
artifact. cast iron. painted yellow and red. With a driver.
Date Made:

Gift of Sears, Roebuck and Company

Almost as soon as the first car took to the roads, American children began to play with car toys, read about cars in books, and even learn how the internal combustion engine worked. Making cars a part of kids' lives-even for kids whose families didn't own cars-naturalized the invention, and made it appealing and desirable to future generations of potential car owners. All this material helped create a market for cars in the next generation of car buyers, and-because it targeted young men over young women-it helped shape a society in which women were far less likely to own and drive a car than men.

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