Buddy L Museum America's #1 buyer of vintage
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Buddy L Museum America's Premier Authority of Buddy L Toys
When the Moline Pressed Steel Company was established in
Illinois in 1912, it was in the business of manufacturing
pressed-steel fenders and cabs for International Harvester, which
was making a precursor to the modern pickup truck at the time in
addition to the line of tractors for which it would become so
famous. In 1917 the company's founder, Fred Lundahl, and his
wife, Marie, had their first and only child, a son named Arthur.
Nicknamed Buddy "L" to differentiate him from another
neighborhood boy named Buddy, Arthur was spoiled by his father,
who made a dump truck for the lad out of the same sheet metal
his factory used to manufacture International Harvester truck
parts. That act of fatherly doting occurred in 1920; the response
around the neighborhood and at a New York toy show to Fred's
handiwork was so positive that a year later Lundahl had retooled a
portion of his factory to make toy trucks, cars, and other metal
toys which, together, were branded as the
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Throughout the rest of the 1920s, Buddy "L" would grow by leaps
and bounds, as its rugged toys, which were much larger than
those of cast-iron competitors such as Hubley, were ordered by
such prestigious retailers as FAO Schwarz and Marshall Field.
Importantly, because Lundahl's company made
Buddy L Toys
from the same materials and using the same manufacturing
techniques as it did for International Harvester, many of the
Buddy L trucks from this period are still in good working
order today Buddy L Baggage Truck value.
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Unfortunately, the golden era of Buddy "L" was relatively
short-lived. The Great Depression torpedoed sales, but it was
Lundahl's death in 1930 at the age of 46 that put the greatest
pressure on Buddy "L." His company was sold and the new
owners immediately began to cut corners on materials and
construction techniques. Still,
Buddy "L" trucks from the 1930s
are often in greater demand than those from the 1920s, if only
because so many fewer of them were made Buddy L Stake truck
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Besides, it's not as if the quality of Buddy L trucks from the
1930s was dreadful—dump trucks from that decade had
working, battery-operated headlights, the truck actually dumped,
and the tailgate was carefully hinged. Rubber covered the
wheels, the doors to the cab opened and closed, and the
steering wheel turned the front wheels.
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Part of the secret to the toy's endurance was its baked-enamel
finish, which helped prevent the pressed steel from rusting. And
they were strong enough for a child or even an adult to sit on,
making play that much more realistic. In addition to the dump
Buddy L also made a wrecking truck, whose crane sat on
a working turntable and featured working pulleys and cranks.
Equally detailed was the steam shovel, whose cab roof was
made of corrugated steel and whose bucket opened and closed
with the turn of a crank
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for sale. Even more elaborate was the trench digger, which rode
on caterpillar tracks like the Buddy L steam shovel featured a
crank at the back of the toy that would let a child actually dig a
trench removing dirt as the toy was pushed forward. 1920's
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