Major Carousel Builders and Carvers (Page 3 of 3)
An Introduction by Brian Morgan
The North Tonawanda companies
were prolific carousel carvers in the Country Fair style. Their horses
are relatively simple, easy to move, and spread widely throughout the
country. Most carousels away from the Eastern Coastal resorts were either
North Tonawanda or Parker. A museum dedicated to these carousels is in
an old Herschell carousel factory in North Tonawanda, New York.
Allan Herschell and James Armitage operated from about 1892 through 1902,
carving a great number of portable carousels of a fairly simple style.
Their steam riding galleries still exist at Willowbrook Village in Maine
and in Greenville, Mississippi.
HERSCHELL SPILLMAN COMPANY
Balboa Park, San Diego, CA
The financial problems of the Armitage Herschell Company caused Herschell
to leave and form a new company in 1900 with his Spillman
in-laws. This factory started by carving and creating carousels in the
old style and also created some large park machines, generally elaborate
menagerie carousels. The Herschell Spillman factory created 18 separate
menagerie animals, most of which were on each of the larger carousels.
Herschell Spillman menageries can be found all across the country, including
Ocean City, Maryland, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, California, and
Greenfield Village near Detroit, Michigan.
1928 Spillman Engineering, Van Andel Museum
Grand Rapids, MI.
In the early 1920s Herschell
Spillman changed its name to Spillman but continued with a similar style
of carving. Later Spillman machines were mostly all horses, although some
menagerie carousels were made. The large Spillman carousel which still
operates in Griffith Park, Los Angeles, was said to be the inspiration
for Disneyland and the Disneyland carousel. Other Spillman carousels are
at Shelby, North Carolina, and the Strong Museum in Rochester, New York.
1924 Allan Herschell, Chavis Park, Raleigh, N.C.
In 1913 Herschell left the Herschell Spillman Company and formed his own
competing company.Herschell created mostly portable machines with rigid
poses on his horses which enabled
them to be packed up and moved to the next town efficiently and with minimal
damage. His most recognized carving is the "Trojan", a large-headed
cropped mane horse. Six Herschell carousels can be seen in and around
Binghamton, New York, all donated to the communities by the local shoe
magnate Johnson family. Another is at the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo in Colorado
THE KANSAS COLONEL -- C. W. PARKER
1901 Parker Track Machine, Heritage Center, Abilene, KS
Charles W. Parker's earlier carousels were copied from the North Tonawanda
style but he is now recognized more for the elongated, decorated horsesof
his later style. Parker's earlier carousels were carved in Abilene,
Kansas, and he
later moved to Leavenworth, Kansas. Although most of Parker's carousels were small
and portable he also carved a number of large three and four row park
machines. The C. W. Parker Museum in Leavenworth opened in April, 2005. Parker carousels were prolific in Kansas
and the heartland and also in the western states. Two of his larger machines
are in Portland, Oregon, and Burnaby, (Vancouver) Canada; there are two very nice portables in Waterloo, WI and Leavenworth, KS.
Parker, Enchanted Village, Federal Way, WA
1912 Parker, Crossroads Village, Flint, MI
1906 Parker White Rose Jumper -- 1917 Burnaby, BC Canada
OTHER NAMES YOU MAY FIND
1890 US MGR Co., Albion, PA
U. S. MERRY GO ROUND COMPANY
This company had its factory in Cincinnati, Ohio. Two simple carousels
still operate at
Albion, Pennsylvania, and at the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C. (rare weekends).
1876 Dare, Marthas Vineyard, Oaks Bluff, MA
Dare was primarily a toy manufacturer who also carved rocking horses.
He was one of the early carousel manufacturers in America, carving very
simple carousels with marbles for eyes. His two remaining carousels can
be ridden at Watch Hill, Rhode Island and Oak Bluffs on Martha's Vineyard,
CARVERS AND OTHERS
whose names you may encounter include Salvatore Cernigliaro (Cherni) who
carved for Dentzel and PTC, John Zalar who carved for both Looff and PTC, and
Frank Carretta, a skilled carver for PTC.
Zalar carving on PTC #50,circa 1920, Hampton, VA.
Carver and Builders -- <-----Previous
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photographs in this article courtesy of
and Marilyn Reinhardt
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