n 1921, the Moline Pressed Steel Company of East Moline, Illinois, began making sturdy toy cars and trucks from the heavy-gauge steel it used in the manufacture of automobile parts for Detroit car companies. Company founder Fred Lundahl named the line of toys for his own son, Buddy "L." The outsized cars, fire engines, construction vehicles, delivery trucks, and trains in metal sturdy enough to bear the weight of an adult withstood rough, outdoor play, and many kids clamored for Buddy Ls. The durability of Buddy L toys led to their success, but their popularity also came from their many moving parts, and in some cases, from intricate features such as hydraulics that actually worked. During the years of the 1940s when supplies for World War II took most of America's available metal, the company produced toy cars and trucks made of wood. Henry Katz, head of the company on the eve of war, found a plant in Glens Falls, New York, suitable for making Buddy "L" Victory Toys, later fondly called "Woodies" by collectors. The company continued making the wooden vehicles after the war, but the public preferred the metal trucks Buddy L offered after 1949.