In 1939, the M. M. Davis shipyard of Solomons built a fleet of a wood pedal-powered pontoon boats called the Ped-L-Craft for the Pedal Boat Company of America. The Ped-L-Craft consists of a stable platform mounted on two pontoons and propelled by one or two occupants who pedal a bicycle-like mechanism that turns a paddle wheel. From March through June 1939, the shipyard built nearly 200 Ped-L-Craft on its assembly line. It became a popular attraction at the New York World’s Fair and at a dozen other venues where the public could rent one for a modest fee. Some Ped-L-Craft continued in use at waterside parks through the 1960s.
Ped-L-Craft chassis under construction at M. M. Davis shipyard, 1939.
Ped-L-Craft on Swan Boat Lake at Prospect Park, Brooklyn, 1959 (Courtesy New York City Parks Photo Archive)