June 19, 2020
When I was young, facial tissue was Kleenex; refrigerators, Frigidaire; cameras, Kodak; and coaster wagons, Radio Flyer. Another great American brand diluted by Chinese manufacture, Radio Flyer now produces scooters, tricycles, bicycles and ride-on toys.
The company, begun in Chicago in 1917 by Antonio Pasin, was known for phonograph cabinets. Quite the craftsman, he carried his tools around in a small wagon. Customers bought the cabinets and wondered where they could get a wagon like his: the business grew.
In 1923 Pasin called the company Liberty Coaster, after the statue of the same na...