May 14, 2007

The Raleigh Dreamline RD2 Pushchair

I've placed information vital to the survival of the memory of this RD2 unit into this blog so fathers will know how to retrieve it. You must see this stroller delivered and realize it's an older one. This was Raleigh's most desperate hour. Helped by Ogle Noor designers, it was their only hope. To expand into the stroller market, that is. [1]

raleigh_dreamline_rd2-1.jpg

Raleigh had long dominated the bicycle industry, and had launched cars and mopeds, with limited success. Their iconic 70's kid's bicycle, the Raleigh Chopper, was still a couple of years away, and so the Raleigh Dreamline series of prams and pushchairs presented something of a risk.

The RD2 had a pretty sleek line to it, made of tubular steel with small, solid wheels and a no-nonsense fabric seat. When Design journal featured the Dreamline strollers in 1969, they criticized the lack of underseat storage, but the RD2's innovative, telescoping folding system was well-received. From the photo, it looks like it collapses down like a Graco Quattro Tour or something.

Flipping through Ogle Noor's portfolio, I have to say, the RD2 is a standout. But to say it's better than their most famous design, the Popemobile, isn't really much of a compliment.

For an article and more pictures, check out the online archives of Design journal, 1969 issue [ahds.ac.uk]
[1] yes, I know, I am a huge dork.

4 Comments

That was the stroller I was pushed around in. Last time I visited my mother, she had me haul it out of the basement to see if we wanted it for our daughter. The fabric was too far gone to make it usable though.

Raleigh wasn't the only bike manufacturer to make a kid's stroller -- actually, it was a pretty common development in early stroller history.

Here's a link to a 1970s stroller that was first designed and sold in the 1950s by the Columbia Bicycle Company. It's a very cool device, actually.

Paul, does your mother still have the frame? I know a Pram Museum that might be interested in it.

She most likely does, but I won't be in that part of the world (Southern Ontario) for a while. And I'd hate to ask her to rediscover it and send it somewhere only to discover that it's a cheap knockoff.

Hey, Paul, "cheap knock-off" is right up the Pram Museum's alley -- the collection is mostly quirky strollers and prams barely rescued from trash collectors. You might keep the Pram Museum in mind if your old stroller is headed to a similar oblivion one day.

(For Paul and other DT readers, the link to the 70s stroller in my comment above will take them to the virtual Pram Museum. There's contact information on the website.)

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