Originally posted December 17, 2011, on the now-defunct Mid-Century Vibe blog.
Item: Fox Sled
Available at Rural Origins Antiques, Royalton, MN
When Erik spotted this baby, he knew it was something special. How many sleds have a steering wheel like this? Or a brake that could maul an arm if it got caught under those teeth? And, get this, the original owner told us he and his friends used to ride it while being towed behind a vehicle. That alone tells you the sled has got to be from the late Baby Boomer to early Gen-X era (1950s-1960s). No parent in their right mind would allow such a thing today.
Researching the sled’s manufacturer online was not easy. Well, it was pretty nigh impossible. We couldn’t find any images of similar sleds and there wasn’t any information on the Fox Corporation. The label, which you can see in the second picture above, gave us our best clue. Underneath “Fox” it says “Janesv …”, which was enough of a hint for us to place the company in Janesville, Wisconsin.
When you’re looking for information on a company and you can’t find it online, there is another way. Contact the historical society or organization closest to where the company is/was based. (How do I (Mary) know this? I work for a local historical society and we have lots of information that we don’t have time to put online. Most of us will gladly do the research for you. Many history organizations charge a fee for research, so ask about this before you make a formal request.)
Erik and I contacted the Rock County Historical Society, which is based in Janesville, Wisconsin. It turns out that the father of one of our researchers worked at the Fox Corporation as a welder. The company operated under the Fox name from about 1952 to 1985, at which time it became Certified Parts. The company did metal fabrication over the years, including auto and truck bodies, sporting goods, and recreational vehicles, including go-karts and, obviously, our sled.