The ‘trottinette’ – children’s scooter – was the cheapest child’s riding toy, and was made in large quantities in France after World War One. It is still part of French public consciousness, much as the skateboard might be for later generations.
Eureka was the country’s leading manufacturer, and their trottinettes were sold by catalogue and in department stores. As the company had a top reputation, they included their name on their products, whereas cheaply built items from other makers did not have a name-plate (so that a potential customer might mistakenly think it was a quality-made Eureka toy). A ‘trottinette’ was made of metal – though it’s also the generic name for all kids’ scooters. A wooden scooter was known as a ‘patinette’. ‘Pliante’ in its title refers to the hinged steering.
Xavier Grandvionnet invented a more advanced version of the trottinette in 1925 – the ‘Auto-patin’ – which coincided with the introduction of slotted wheels. This example is an earlier version with wire wheels. Though a bit faded, it has a name plate on the top of the handlebar and on the footboard. The wood is in good condition and it is rideable. Being wooden, and therefore easily broken, it’s a rare 95-year-old survivor of this marque.
1923 Patinette Eureka Pliante Bois
8″ Wheels with Solid Tyres
MANUFRANCE CATALOGUE EXTRACT
1925 EUREKA CATALOGUE EXTRACT
1920s MESTRE & BLATGE DEPARTMENT STORE CATALOGUE