Saturday, May 10, 2014

V5.19 - Emanuel’s Story

While it should be pretty obvious that I love these old Taylor-Tot strollers, the strollers aren’t the most important part of the gig. People are what is important. Connecting with people, refreshing their memories of a childhood gone by is what really makes me tick. One of the blessings of having the only website about Taylor-Tots is that people are finding it. People who I would never have known about otherwise have found my little website and that makes all the work worth it.

A few years ago I received an email from a nice lady named Rachel. Rachel is from Vancouver, Canada and even though the idea of some guy in Tennessee being contacted by someone from Vancouver is pretty far out, her request was even more interesting. Rachel sent me a photo of a young child sitting in a stroller. She said that the picture was probably taken in Lithuania in the late 1930’s and she wondered of the stroller could be identified as a 1930’s vintage Taylor-Tot.

When Rachel sent the picture, it was a very dark print - obviously a very old photo. The first thing I did was use a photo program to lighten up the picture so that I could see more of the stroller’s details. When I was better able to see some of the details of the stroller in Rachel’s picture, I found several items that seem to tell us that this wasn’t a Taylor-Tot stroller.

For instance, this stroller’s T-handle was wider; the front crossmember is shaped at an angle; the front bumper is shaped differently and there doesn’t seem to be any beads in front of the youngster. I really struggled with this one, because I wanted it to be a Taylor-Tot. It did remind me of a 1932 Taylor-Tot like one I had seen on a catalog cover but not quite.

If the child’s handle had been wider and the front crossmember had been squared off, I would have agreed that it was more than likely, a Taylor-Tot.

As it was, I had to get back to Miss Rachel and tell her that it didn’t look like it was a Taylor-Tot. I told Miss Rachel that I thought it might be a European stroller, perhaps of the same 1930’s vintage because, just like cars of the day all looked basically the same, my thinking was that strollers might have also.

I wanted to write this article for my Taylor-Tot newsletter, so I asked Miss Rachel’s permission and when I did, she asked if she could write the ‘other half’ of the story of the child in the stroller.

Stay tuned for Part two.

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