The Helmers Manufacturing Company, 1920
What to my wondering eyes should appear? It's a baby sleigh on page 51 of this 92-page trade catalog! No tiny reindeer involved – these are to be pushed by an adult when taking the Dear Little One on an outing in the cold wintertime.
This looks quite possibly useful even a hundred years later — assuming you have the climate for it. In contrast, if you Google “baby sleigh” today, you'll only find wooden sleds more decorative and playful than practical.
Now whether it's Mother and Father doing the pushing or the hired help is an open question. The catalog's charming cover illustration is quite aspirational in it's depiction of a – governess? nurse? – pushing a one infant while another toddler is overseeing a third babe.
Helmers Manufacturing Company started in the late 1800s and by 1920 claimed to be the country's largest furniture manufacturer and distributor in the country. That could refer to sales volume or simply the breadth of their offerings. Old Helmers catalogs that I have seen offer page after page of solid and practical midwestern furniture. This Baby Vehicle catalog – distributed to retailers who wished to order Helmers products for their stores – lists Carriages, Perambulators, Go-Carts (not THAT kind of go-cart), Strollers, Sulkies, and one “Go-Basket” in addition to the two pictured Sleighs.
The back page invites the businessman to write in for other catalogs and price lists including one for “Pioneer Children's Vehicles.” Evidently America still had pioneers in 1920, and perhaps they weren't in the market for sleighs.