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Miniature Lords of the Sidewalk This Week at

Rosemary McKittrick's website is full of helpful information about the art, antique and collectibles world.

SANTA FE, NM, August 18, 2010 ( These miniature lords of the sidewalk grew up right alongside "big" automobiles. And if you couldn't have a real car, this kid's size mobile was the next best thing. Pedal cars showed up in backyards as early as 1890. They were expensive even then and usually purchased by wealthy families for their children.

Pedal cars were constructed of steel on an assembly line just like the big cars. They were modeled after the most popular full-size cars. They were also designed by the same big-name designers.

Harley Earl was General Motor's top designer. He was famous for the fins on his Cadillacs. He also designed the Kidillacs. Brooks Stevens, who streamlined real automobiles also made the smooth curves of many pedal cars.

With the 1950s post-war boom, things changed for these pint-sized beauties. People could now afford to buy real cars and their kids got the pedal car versions. They were also more affordable. Pedal trucks, cars, tractors, fire trucks, planes could be spotted on sidewalks and in backyards all over mid-America.

On April 16-17, Bertoia Auctions, Vineland, N.J., featured a selection of vintage pedal cars in its Donald Kaufman Collection auction. Kaufman was an American toy collector with an estimated 7,000 toys in his collection including 40 pedal and oversized pressed-steel cars. He died in 2009.

Read the full story at

RSS: is devoted to the rare, weird and wonderful objects people love to collect.

• One of the largest "Live" auction information databases on the Internet.
• Over 800 articles including photographs are currently FREE to website visitors.
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Rosemary has provided auction coverage and analysis on thousands-and-thousands of antiques and collectibles sold since the column started 16-years ago. She includes auction sale results to give readers a feel for what their treasures are worth because the power of auctions is simple.

When the bidding stops and the hammer falls, the value of an item is set. The buyer, not the seller, sets the price, and this simple distinction cuts through all the chitchat about what art, antiques and collectibles are really worth. The emphasis is on today's values, not yesterday's wishful thinking.

Each week another new article is posted featuring a particular area of collecting.

• Every article showcases an auction item and how it fits into the big picture.
• A compelling, historical context is provided for the treasures people collect.
• Collecting tips are offered.
• Current "prices realized" are listed.

Rosemary is the co-author of The Official Price Guide to Fine Art published by Random House and received her training in the trenches working as a professional appraiser and weekly columnist.


Rosemary McKittrick


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