Did You Know?: The inventor of America’s most popular sled held almost 300 other patents


The Flexible Flyer sled was patented by Samuel Leeds Allen in 1889. Allen was a seasoned inventor who held almost 300 patents in his name. Allen was a farmer and factory owner and the majority of his patents were all associated with farm equipment and machinery. He developed the wooden sled to keep his factory workers employed throughout the winter, and as method for making a profit during the off-season. The original sled had a slatted wooden seat and steel runners. At its inception it had minimal steering capabilities, but nonetheless Allen began selling an average of 2000 sleds per day. His new found passion for sledding led to him developing a series of sleds and various sled improvements. For over 100 years, the Flexible Flyer has been the best-selling and most famous American sled.