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Following up on a York County sled

In the summer of 2014, reader Harland Smeigh asked about a wooden sled made in York.

“I have a wooden sled. I am not sure if it was my mother’s or my grandmother’s,” he wrote. “I wonder if you can tell me when it was made … in York.” He added that on the sled, it says: 56 ā€“ Mfg By American Toy and Novelty Works ā€“ York PA ā€“ Patent Co.

Since then, I heard from several people about this, and now that it’s winter, I thought it was a good time to share! The fun part of this is that two fellow York County history bloggers helped me answer Harland’s question, and tonight, I’m going to be speaking with that group of history bloggers in an event to celebrate a decade of writing about York’s past!

About the sled, reader Skip Palmer writes, “In response to your article about the American Toy and Novelty sled. The sled #56 was a 52″ Monoplane. The sled was manufactured on West Popular St. in York between 1917 and 1927. In 1927 the company merged with the Acme Wheel Co. and became American Acme Company in Emigsville, Pa. The building is still standing in Emigsville on N. George St. Hope this helps.”

Well, THAT reminded me that back in 2010, I’d shared the photo above, taken by reader Dianne Bowers, and in 2011, I shared memories of working and making sleds at that location from another reader.

Fellow blogger June Lloyd of Universal York and Librarian Emerita of the York County History Center, notes that the Heritage Trust’s library and archives have a good bit of information on Acme Wagon Co./American Acme Co./American Toy and Novelty Co./American Sales Co., including some business records from about a century ago. “They made all kinds of things over the years,” June noted… “Cider presses, wagons, sleds and toys. They made a lot of those rocking toys that kids could sit in with the silhouette of a pony or other animal on each side.”

And finally, related to the same archives at the Trust, fellow blogger Stephen H. Smith of Yorkspast notes, “A sled by American Toy and Novelty Works, of York PA, would have been built between 1919 and 1927. Between 1917 and 1919, the company was known as York Novelty Works, and after 1927, American Acme Company. Sled Model 56 is part of their Monoplane Sled line. Based upon model numbering of all their sled lines, Iā€™m guessing Model 56 was produced more towards the mid-1920s. Model 56 is a Steering Sled, meant for two riders; i.e. the front rider steered and the back rider is provided, out to the side, foot rests. Model 56 is 52 inches long, 7 inches high, 14-1/2 inches wide and weighs 14 pounds. All of this info comes from the Archives of the York County History Center.”

See what happens when history-lovers work together?