The Mailbag: Taylor Tot

In the morning mail:

Brian writes:

Would you happen to have any information on this item.  I saw it at a Flea Market last weekend and had to have it.  The woman I got it from said it was from the 1920’s, but there are no markings on it.  It appears to be in original condition.  Could you estimate what it is worth?

These strollers are just irresistible, no matter what the condition, aren’t they?  Even neglected and rusty they have enormous character.  Taylor Tots are quintessentially USA American —  trim, metal and modern even in the pre-WWII era, and nothing like pushchairs from other lands.

This particular one is virtually identical to this model, from 1937:

Although, of course, it’s missing its handle and foot pan.  That’s often the case, as both detached, and tend to stray over the years.

I’ve previously written about determining value here, but Taylor Tot strollers, like a very few others, fall a little outside the general pattern I describe in that post.  Unlike many old strollers and carriages, it’s generally possible to sell a Taylor Tot, unless your price expectations are wildly inflated.

Thousands of Taylor Tots were manufactured from the 1920s through the 1970s, though by the mid-1960s the market was dominated by  flat-folding vinyl models, and “Taylor Tots” of that era were indistinguishable in general style  from every other similar stroller.

Although this particular model is much older than most available today, the strongest sales market is for the more common models from the late 1940s and 1950s.  The classic Taylor Tot, particularly from the 1950s, is beloved by many, and widely available.

Sellers frequently, and optimistically, list Taylor Tots for prices up to $400 (apparently in the mistaken belief that “old” means “rare”).  However, most, in quite good shape with paint intact, sell for between $20 and $70, and often at the lower end of that scale.  Now and then  you’ll see one selling for around $150, or somewhat above, which falls under the heading of  “if you find the right buyer, you may get far more than ‘market value'”, but that is the exception, rather than the rule.

This cute little model has minimal financial value, but is full of charm.

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