Ped-L-Craft

In 1939, the M. M. Davis shipyard of Solomons built a fleet of a wood pedal-powered pontoon boats called the Ped-L-Craft for the Pedal Boat Company of America.   The Ped-L-Craft consists of a stable platform mounted on two pontoons and propelled by one or two occupants who pedal a bicycle-like mechanism that turns a paddle wheel. From March through June 1939, the shipyard built nearly 200 Ped-L-Craft on its assembly line. It became a popular attraction at the New York World’s Fair and at a dozen other venues where the public could rent one for a modest fee.  Some Ped-L-Craft continued in use at waterside parks through the 1960s.

Ped-L-Craft chassis under construction at M. M. Davis shipyard, 1939.

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Ped-L-Craft on Swan Boat Lake at Prospect Park, Brooklyn, 1959 (Courtesy New York City Parks Photo Archive)

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PEDL-CRAFT Ad Motor Boating July 1939

The Process of Building a Ped-L-Craft

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