The Colson Brownie Tricycle was a popular children's tricycle produced in the 1920's. The Colson company, operated from 1917 to 1953, and sold numerous, attractive models of bicycles and tricycles. The “Brownie” tricycle is now considered a rare and valuable antique, sought after by collectors. It is a difficult item to locate, and its parts are equally invaluable. The styling of this tricycle is very similar to that of the first velocipede bicycles, created by Michaux company. The attractive, mocha brown of this tricycle is reminiscent of the classic, wooden frames of 19th century bicycles. The Colson Brownie Tricycle retains the simple elegance of early velocipedes. Its appearance is very different from the flashy, colorful tricycles that began to become popular in the 1930's.
This tricycle was equipped with many deluxe features that made it a sought after item. The Colson Brownie Tricycle featured a painted, cast iron frame, spoke wheels, and solid rubber tires. The tires were of excellent quality, produced by Firestone and Goodyear corporations. Its comfortable, hand stitched, leather seat came equipped with metal, spring shock absorbers. The older versions of this tricycle were sold without pedals. A later version utilized a simple, wheel integrated pedal system. This system did not require a chain and gears, thus making it difficult to break, and easy to fix. The handle bars and seat were adjustable. The tricycle can be identified by a unique metal stamp, painted cherry red, located on the front of the unit, labeling it a “Brownie.”