1950s ‘Indian Chief’ Railway Pedal Car (Thistle Toys, Canada)

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1950s ‘Indian Chief’ Railway Pedal Car

Thistle Toys, Canada


The advertisement below shows the identical ‘Indian Chief’ sold by Cyclops of Australia. Tri-ang of Britain owned both Cyclops of Australia and Thistle Toys of Canada. I found this pedal car train in Canada. It has a Thistle label at the lower front. I’ve not yet found a Thistle catalogue illustrating it, so I’m not sure what name it was sold under in Canada.

The pedal car has a tubular metal body with a plastic front. It’s suitable for a child aged around three years old. As a result of the delicate front end, very few of these have survived. I’ve not seen another (nor Cyclops or Triang versions). I managed to get this one from a museum and, apart from damage to the sticker at the front, it’s in excellent original unrestored condition.









G. & J. Lines introduced the Thistle trademark in 1910. In 1913 G. & J. Lines moved to a new location called Thistle Works in Down Lane, Tottenham in North London. They produced pedal cars.

After the company became Tri-ang, they set up subsidiary companies with ten factories in Canada, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand, in order to bypass import tariffs in those countries and protect Tri-ang designs, patents and trade marks.

In 1947 Lines purchased a large freehold factory and 11 acres of land in Montreal, Canada’s largest city and the main port into Quebec and Ontario. Considerable space was provided for warehousing a wide variety of completed toys and prams imported from the English factory.

There were three agents (showrooms) in Canada: St. Patrickstreet in Montreal; Wellinton Street in Toronto; and the corner of Kingsway and 17th in Vancouver. In 1964 a new showroom was added in Waterloo, Quebec.

Thistle produced the same range as Tri-ang. But, as well as maerketing the products with their own decals, Thistle changed some specifications of some models.






Thistle history and illustrations with thanks to – http://www.triang.nl/thistlecanada.htm