Not so long ago, many Jamaican youth who could not afford certain toys made their own from scraps and scratch. From their creative minds, dolls, houses, cars, carts, trucks, van and bulldozers were manifested, until they could afford cheap, mass-produced gadgets.
Things and times have certainly changed, and the creativity among the youth is moribund, to say the least. Yet, one man, Everett Daley, a St Mary native living in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, has gone back to those independent, creative days and has produced a cart that looks like a blast from the past, but with a twist. The cart has a driver named ‘Mr Cool Ride’.
The original cart consisted of two pieces of board. Wheels made of sundry materials were affixed to the end of the shorter piece of board. The longer piece was affixed to the centre of the shorter piece, with pins that allowed it to move freely.
At the other end of the longer piece of board, there was a steering that was connected by a piece of cord or wire to the shorter piece of board with the wheels, which turned into the direction that the steering turned to. One hand controlled the steering, while the other pushed the longer piece of board.
Now, Daley has affixed Mr Cool Ride on to the lower section of the longer piece of board and he appears to be the driver of the cart, which was patented in the United States as a “rolling push toy”. The date of the patent is July 4, 2017, and Daley is registered as the applicant and inventor.
The abstract for the patent reads: “A push toy having a puppet mounted on a first member. Pivotally cross-connected at one end of the first member is a second member having wheels, and pivotally cross-connected at the other end of the first member is a third member used for steering.
“Cables connecting the third member to the second member extend along each side of the first member. The cables extend through the puppet and the feet of the puppet are connected to the second member. As a user pushes the push toy and steers, the wheels turn as the puppet moves in a manner, such that the puppet appears to be steering the push toy.”
Not Just A Toy For Kids
Everett Daley is particularly happy that his ‘Mr Cool Ride’ is an authentic Jamaican toy invented by a Jamaican, since there is no known Jamaican toy on the international market.
The idea came, Daley said, when he wanted to make something for his son. He remembered he used to make two-wheel pushcarts, but decided to add his own style.
His son and his friends, Daley said, find the cart to be very fascinating, and have put away their modern gadgets from time to time to play with it.
Yet, for Daley, Mr Cool Ride is more than just a toy for children, it is art, a collector’s item for adults, an everlasting reminder of the Jamaican lifestyle and sensibilities of yesteryear.
“The unique thing about Mr Cool Ride is that it’s not just a toy, it’s an interesting antique artwork for grown folks, too, so I think it will do well in the art industry also,” he said.
He wants to share the memories and the art, and having secured a patent, he intends to mass produce the push toy for the commercial toy market, and is hoping that a sponsor will soon come along for the ride. For those who want it in wood, it can be replicated, he said.
By: Paul H. Williams