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A Wagonload of Thanksgiving Wishes

Wednesday, November 23, 2016
 

With Thanksgiving 2016 upon us, chances are that many are taking at least a minute or two to reflect on what we are thankful for. Perhaps we’re thankful for the opportunities our land has provided, or thankful for parents or grandparents that that brightened our younger days. Or maybe we’re thankful for the gifts and toys they provided that made those younger days so much brighter. Taken together, these opportunities to give thanks apply to a recent article at Smithsonian.com.

It tells the story of Antonio Pasin, who, at age 16, traveled to America from Italy with his family, searching for opportunity after selling their prized mule to afford the trip. Settling in Chicago, Pasin took what work he could, and in 1917, had enough money in his pocket to rent a one-room workshop. From a family of cabinetmakers, he plied his trade, building whatever he thought he could sell. He noticed that people seemed most interested in the sturdy wooden carts he built to haul tools. 

Pasin named these carts “Liberty Coasters,” after the Statue of Liberty. By the late-1920s, with sales rising, Pasin shifted from wood to metal as the material of choice for his wagons, hired more workers, and adopted the relatively new processes revolving around automotive assembly lines and metal stamping. Success in these efforts led to a new nickname for Pasin: Little Ford.

Pasin died in 1990, but he left his mark on the world with his wagons…little red ones. We’re thankful to you, Antonio Pasin, for giving us Radio Flyers.

Our offices are closed tomorrow and Friday, but we’ll be right back at it next Monday. In the meantime, Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours from the staff of MetalForming magazine!  

 


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