Big Wheel (Louis Marx & Company, 1960s)
Not to knock a tricycle, but they weren’t always the safest form of transportation for kids. In the 1960s,
Ray Lohr, head designer for Louis Marx & Company, took apart a tricycle and essentially reassembled it into an
upside down tricycle. (This allowed for the trike to handle more like a race car.) Steel tricycles had the rider perched on a seat above the drive wheel. This allowed the tricycle to pitch over on sharp turns.Traditionally, these trikes never achieved much speed. The Big Wheel only rode a few inches off the ground though and allowed for high speed on slanted and uneven surfaces. The molded plastic cushioned most jolts. With this transport, children could actively seek out bumps, corners and any kind of pavement with less risk of injury.
The Big Wheel was inducted into the National Toy Hall of Fame in 2009.