How do you create a nation of automobile owners? Simple.You make toy cars for kids with moving parts and
you wait for them to grow up. The maker of the highly collectible
Buddy L toy cars and trucks did just that in
the 1921 The Moline Pressed Steel Company in East Moline Ill started out making regular automobile fenders
and truck parts tugboat; red overall; railed cabin; decal on funnel; searchlight on pilots house; possibly the last
survivor; 26 1/2 inches long; $30,600. Photo courtesy of Bertoia Auctions  And how do you create a nation of
automobile owners? Simple.   You make toy cars for kids with moving parts and you wait for them to grow up
The maker of the highly collectible
Buddy “L” toy cars and trucks did just that in the 1921 The moline pressed
Steel Company in East Moline Ill started out making real regular automobile fenders and truck parts Then they
branched out to sturdy
toy trucks cars, steam shovels, tugboats, passenger buses, ambulances and moving vans
that had real working parts these incredibly fun vehicles became a rite of passage for the next generation of car
and truck buyers.   Like a lot of inventions the
Buddy “L” line started out simple.  The company’s owner, Fred
Lundhal wanted to build a toy for his son Arthur that was new, unusual and tough He came up with an all steel
miniature truck reportedly a model of an International harvester the kids in the neighborhood so loved Arthur’s
truck they convinced their parents to have Lundhal make similar ones for them.  Being the good hearted dad he
was, Lundhal designed and made 3 all-steel sample toys under the name
Buddy “L”.   The name came from his
son who was known to neighborhood kids as Buddy "L". And was the kids’ way of distinguishing his son from
another Buddy in the neighborhood. Pleased with the outcome Lundhal took his toys to the 1922 New York toy
fair and received halfhearted interest. Toy buyers liked the size and quality but balked at the price. Never one to
be discouraged, Lundhal went ahead and launched the first large American
pressed steel toys anyway, Buddy L
was born. The toy business was so strong in 1922 Moline Pressed Steel stopped making full-size auto parts and
focused on toys. By 1925 the toy line expanded to 20 items, including fire engines, tanker trucks, lumber trucks
and overhead cranes The
Buddy L Toy Factory continued to manufacture and prosper well into the latter 1920s
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