Our grandmother came to American as an Italian immigrant so we are particularly fond of immigrant stories like this one about Antonio Pasin who like our grandmother lived in a small town outside of Venice.
Coming to America in the early 1900s was a complete cultural shift. Nothing was familiar everything was foreign and new. Yet our Italian ancestors were committed to becoming a part of the American experience and making American their new home.
For Antonio Pasin that meant saving enough money to rent a one room workshop, where he began building phonograph cabinets and wooden wagons to haul around tools. His wagon would eventually become the flashy red Radio Flyer, an American icon and a true American toy. Pasin’s success as an American entrepreneur is best measured by a 1973 advertisement for the Radio Flyer as the “only wagon that outsells Ford station wagons.”
The accomplishments of the many immigrants that came to America during the early 20th century could often be measured in extraordinary accomplishments in business, commerce, science and the arts. But just as many contributed to the fabric of American society by raising families and creating communities of worth with hard work and determination to make America their new home.