Sepia Saturday #333: Big Wheels

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These two cards were given to Aunt Sadie for Easter on 28 March 1937. This matching pair of smartly dressed animals, a duck and a rabbit, are delivering special treats in the form of a basket of eggs and a bouquet of flowers. The duck is wearing a calico apron, a bonnet with a pink bow, and button-hole shoes. The rabbit is sporting a top hat, wearing a blue jacket, and showing off the gators on his shoes. Both cards have feet that spin around and around and around… Just like a water wheel.

I’m sure with all the creeks, streams and rivers in and around Sussex County, there probably was or still is a water wheel. I couldn’t think of one so I’m going with a picture of my dad showing off a new set of his very own wheels attached to a brand-new Bradley Junior wagon. His mom Beatrice is standing behind him. I’m guessing this photo was taken around 1940 on Pine Street in Newton, Sussex County, New Jersey.

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The wagon originally sold for the whopping amount of $6.98. Around $7 might not seem like much but in 1940 the country was still struggling with the impact of the Great Depression. In today’s dollars, that translated to about $118. I know the original sales price from a Sears, Roebuck & Co. advertisement I found in the Deseret News (Salt Lake City, Utah) on 28 November 1940 on page 15 that featured a 3-in-1 Bradley Junior wagon. The stake-sided wagon could be converted from a farm wagon to a coaster to a flat top wagon.

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From my Dad’s picture above and from having a Radio Flyer wagon when I was little, I was expecting the wagon to be red. However, the Bradley Junior wasn’t red! The advertisement says the wagon has a green and yellow finish. That sent me looking on Google for a photo. And I did find one for sale at an auction house in all it’s glorious color.

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It does make me wonder how many crashes occurred, what hills my Dad took his wagon down in Newton, and what got hauled around in his wagon… perhaps Dad would care to comment?

The concept behind these weekly Saturday posts can be found at Sepia Saturday Intro.
Theme taken from Sepia Saturday photo: Turning

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7 thoughts on “Sepia Saturday #333: Big Wheels

  1. I don’t think those Bradley waggons ever made it to Australia, but I can imagine kids had lots of fun with them, either pulling them along or sitting inside and being pulled by someone else. I think there have been a few other photos of them on Sepia Saturday a while back.

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  2. Not long after I posted this, Dad did indeed pipe in with his comments. Alas, his wagon was after all a little red wagon! He said he had a blast with taking the sides off of it and using his foot to scoot it along while using the handle to steer.

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  3. Those unique cards with the revolving feet are great. Children must have loved playing with them. We had Red Flyer wagons in our neighborhood when I was growing up.

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  4. What a lucky little chap. We had to make do with pram wheels and a plank, on some pretty steep hills. I amazed I’m still here!

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