Antonio Pasin

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Antonio Pasin (1897–1990) was the founder of the Radio Flyer company, best known for making the Radio Flyer toy wagon.


Antonio Pasin was born in Venice, Italy in 1897. The son of a cabinetmaker[1] Pasin moved to America In 1913 when he was 16 to begin a new life in New York City. He had no money and he did not know anyone. He invested his savings, bought used woodworking tools, and rented a one room workshop.

Pasin created his first wagon there in 1917 and named it the Liberty Coaster after being inspired by the Statue of Liberty. He then opened a small factory west of Chicago.

Toy wagon[edit]

In 1927, Pasin wanted to make a wagon affordable for every child. He did that by adopting steel stamping mass production techniques inspired by the automobile industry, earning him the nickname "Little Ford".[2]

His first wagon was called the Radio Flyer after his amazement of the radio and the wonders of flight. He renamed his company the Radio Steel and Manufacturing Company in 1930. In 1933 he commissioned a 45-foot art-deco statue of a boy riding a wagon above a mini 25-cent souvenir wagon store at the Chicago World's Fair.[1] His company became the largest producer of toy wagons, producing 1,500 wagons a day, despite the Great Depression. Business grew with the baby boom generation.[1] Pasin's son took over the business and renamed the company Radio Flyer, expanding its offerings to include wheelbarrows, farden carts, and outdoor furniture.[1]

Pasin died in 1990. He was inducted into the Toy Industry Hall of Fame in 2003.[3] In 2012, his 104 year-old widow still lives in their suburban Chicago home.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e Wild Ride in a red wagon; How an Italian immigrant created an icon of the American childhood November 2012 Inc
  2. ^ Scott, Sharon M. (2010). Toys and American culture: an encyclopedia. ABC-CLIO. ISBN 978-0-313-34798-6. 
  3. ^ Toy Industry Hall of Fame Inductees, 1985–2004

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