State Library of South Australia logo To be a child
SA Memory. South Australia past and present, for the future

Two small children seated in a toy car
Title : Two small children seated in a toy car Two small children seated in a toy car
Add To My SA Memory
Source : PRG 280/1/27/130
Date of creation : ca. 1919
Format : Photograph
Contributor : State Library of South Australia
Catalogue record
The State Library of South Australia is keen to find out more about SA Memory items. We encourage you to contact the Library if you have additional information about any of these items.
Copyright : Reproduction rights are owned by State Library of South Australia. This image may be printed or saved for research or study. Use for any other purpose requires permission from the State Library of South Australia. To request approval, complete the Permission to publish form.
Description :

A boy wearing a soldier's uniform and a girl dressed as a nurse seated in a toy car decorated to support Red Cross activities during a charity fund raising event in Adelaide, South Australia. It is difficult to identify the model of car underneath its decoration and plea for help.

It is possible that this was a homemade car, but pedal cars were produced by Cyclops in Australia from 1917. These were made of pine wood and sheet metal and had spoked wheels with rubber tyres. The front wheels were smaller in the front, whereas the car in the photograph appears to have same sized wheels all round.

By the early 1920s Cyclops were producing a range of pedal cars and wagons. The cars were sold for 3 pounds 15 shillings (roughly $7.50), or a slightly cheaper version at 3 pounds 9 shillings and sixpence ($6.95). This was nearly the average wage for men at the time, so any young boy who was given one of these manufactured toys was very lucky indeed.

Coverage year : 1923
Place : South Australia
Further reading :

The endless playground: celebrating Australian childhood, compiled and edited by Paul Cliff; with introductory essays by Robert Holden and features by Jack Bedson ... [et al.], Canberra: National Library of Australia, 2000

Fabian, Sue. Children in Australia: an outline history, Melbourne: Hyland House, 1980

Fainges, Marjory. Cyclops toys through the years: Australia's childhood icon, Kenthurst, NSW: Kangaroo Press, 1997

Internet links :
Exhibitions and events :



About SA Memory

Explore SA Memory

SA Memory Themes


My SA Memory


What's on