Allan Herschell Carousel Company

Allan Herschell, together with James Armitage, created the Armitage-Herschell Company in 1873. 1888 they set up band organ production in North Tonawanda, founding the North Tonawanda Barrel Organ Factory. The company produced a range of barrel-organ based products, suited for all ranges of fairground attraction. Armitage-Herschell remained in operation until the early 1900s. The company […]

The Parker Ferris Wheel

Many people jumped on the Ferris Wheel building band wagon at the turn of the century. Showmen needed a smaller, portable version of George Ferris’s giant invention for their new fangled midways and inventors were quick to answer their call. In the beginning Mr. Sullivan (Eli Bridge) and Mr. Conderman went toe to toe over […]

Hep Cats – Leon Claxton’s First Major Girl Show

Hep Cats – Claxton’s All Black Girl Show Revue Sixty of The MOST Talented Cotton Club Performers Before he produced the fabulous ‘Harlem In Havana Revue’ (later the name was changed to the Harlem Revue for political reasons) for the Royal American Shows, Leon Claxton debuted his first venture into midway girl shows in 1936 […]

Henry and John Pollie Were Circus And Carnivals Owners

History of The Pollies and Their And The Mark They Left On The Carnival Business Henry and John Pollies owned circuses and carnivals from at least 1910-1930s. John Pollie worked as a concessionaire with games of chance in carnivals, 1930s-1960s. Their business and personal life is wonderfully documented in the Papers of John C. Pollie, […]

G Force Fair Ride Called The Tumbler

The Chance Tumbler  The Chance Tumbler could change from a Tilt-a-Whirl rotation to a Ferris Wheel all in the same ride experience Problems plagued the Chance Tumbler from the start. There were no form-fitting seats and the cars were very top-heavy and impossible to keep upright once the ride commenced. The G force  causes the cars to […]

Annie Oakley – Little Sure Shot

Oakley And The Wild West Shows By the time she was a teen, Phoebe Ann Moses’ shooting skills were so advanced that she was putting them on public display to help her beloved mother pay off her mortgage. In 1875, Moses bested celebrated marksman Frank E. Butler in a shooting competition, and not long after, […]

Philadelphia Toboggan Company Portable Carousels

There is only one portable PTC carousel you can ride – Another is just a restoration away from returning home to Florida: The rare Philadelphia Toboggan Company Portable Carnival Carousels. By Bill Hall Reprinted from the Sept. 2013 CN&T, courtesy of Carnival magazine Through the decades, the carousel has maintained ins popularity and is the […]

Restoring The Most Beautiful Carousels In America – Keeping The Artisans Creations Alive

Preserving The Carousels The Illions Supreme Carousel Restoration Project [vimeo id=”109063033″ align=”center” mode=”normal” autoplay=”no” maxwidth=”650″]  The City of Naples Looks to Bring Historic 1914 PTC 28 Carousel Home To The State of Florida In New Baker Park As part of a major city park redevelopment project, the City of Naples looks to include a beautifully restored, […]

 Johnny J. Jones An Early “Master Showman”

The Johnny J. Jones Exposition Leagacy Coal Miner To A Great Showman Johnny J. Jones Early Life and Career Johnny’s father, Ebenezer Jones, was a coal miner of Welsh descent born in Llanrwst, Wales. His mother, Ann Harris Jones was also born in Wales. After immigrating to America in the early 1870’s his family soon […]

The Allan Herschell Carousel Company

A Brief Merry Go Round History – The Allan Herschell Company   Allan Herschell, together with James Armitage, created the Armitage-Herschell Company in 1873. 1888 they set up band organ production in North Tonawanda, founding the North Tonawanda Barrel Organ Factory. Armitage-Herschell remained in operation until the early 1900s. The company carved many portable steam […]

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