Allan Herschell Company
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The Allan Herschell Company was a company that specialized in the creation of amusement rides, particularly carousels and roller coasters. The company manufactured portable machines which could be used by traveling carnival operators. It was started in 1915 in the town of North Tonawanda, just outside Buffalo, New York.
Herschell, together with James Armitage, created the Armitage Herschell Company in 1873. In 1883, his son William traveled to London, England to meet former Limonaire Frères employee Eugene de Kleist. Backed by Armitage Herschell, in 1888 DeKliest set up band organ production in North Tonawanda, founding the North Tonawanda Barrel Organ Factory. The company produced a range of barrell-organ based products, suited for all ranges of fairground attraction.
Armitage Herschell remained in operation until the early 1900s. The company carved many portable carousels, made simple in style. Surviving steam riding galleries are located in Mississippi and Maine. In 1901, Herschell left the Herschell Armitage Company due to financial complications, thus allowing De Kliest to buy the pair out, and seek new investment from his association with Ruldoph Wurlitzer.
Herschell created the Herschell Spillman Company with his in-laws, the Spillmans. Herschell Spillman started out creating and carving carousels in a traditional style, but later branching out to create larger park machines, such as elaborate carousels with many types of animals. Surviving carousels can be found in California, Michigan, and Maryland.
The company later dropped Herschell's name and was known as the Spillman Engineering Company. The company continued to make the same style of carousel, though later it focused more on horses with a few menagerie styled machines. Surviving carousels can be seen in North Carolina and the Strong National Museum of Play in Rochester, New York.
Fourth and final company
The last company Herschell created was his own, competing with the Spillman Engineering Company, in 1915. Herschell specialized in horses with rigid poses and portable machines, which enabled them to be packed and shipped easily between towns. Herschell produced over 3,000 carved wooden carousels, which were shipped all over the United States and Canada, as well as other countries such as Mexico, South Africa, and India.
The factory was bought in 1915 and is located on Thompson Street in North Tonawanda. It is one of the last factory complexes in the United States which contained the production of wooden carousels. The complex was expanded to meet the growing company's needs. The building contains a large carving shop, a woodworking shop, a paint shop, a storage area, an upholstery shop, a machine shop and a roundhouse where the carousels were assembled and tested.
Herschell didn't create just carousel rides, but expanded to include rides made for children and adults. He thought up the concept for rides specialized for small children, called "Kiddieland." Twister, Hurricane, Flying Bobs, and the Sky Wheel were thrill rides catered towards adults.
The Herschell Carousel Factory Museum
The Allan Herschell Carousel Factory Museum, at the original factory site on Thompson Street, opened to the general public in 1983, with a full operational carousel from 1916. The first floor of the factory has been opened up to provide exhibits and demonstrations. Different programs are offered, such as woodcarving of various skill levels, guided tours, and a summer lecture series. Special programs, such as Youth Volunteer Program and Neighborhood Partners Program are offered to young people and local elementary school children.
Surviving Allan Herschell Company rides
- 1913 Herschell-Spillman Carousel, Greenfield Village at The Henry Ford, Dearborn, Michigan.
- 1928 Herschell-Spillman Carousel, Tuscora Park, New Philadelphia, Ohio.
- 1947 Allan Herschell at Harper Motors in Eureka, CA. Bought at auction by the dealership in 1991. 
- Antique carousel c.1930, privately owned by Raymond Bahr, Funshine Amusements homepage
- Baby Boats, P. T. Boats model at Lagoon Amusement Park
- Broadway at the Beach Carousel, Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
- C. Fred Johnson Park Carousel, Johnson City, New York
- Cactus Coaster, a steel kiddie roller coaster at Elitch Gardens
- Carnivàle Lune Bleue, Ottawa, Ontario, Restored 1938 wooden carousel
- "Carousel", a 1949 Allan Herschel design, Joyland Amusement Park, Wichita, Kansas
- "The Carousel", a 1965 36' Diameter Version at Storybook Gardens in Springbank Park, London, Ontario
- Caterpillar & various junior rides, Canobie Lake Park, Salem, New Hampshire
- Caterpillar and various kiddie rides at Idlewild and SoakZone, Ligonier, Pennsylvania
- "Chase Palm Park Antique Carousel" in Santa Barbara, California, one of three machines produced by the Allan Herschell factory circa 1915-1917.
- Crandon Park Carousel, at Crandon Park, Key Biscayne, FL
- Elaine Wilson Carousel, a restored 1918 carousel, Strong National Museum of Play, Rochester, New York
- "G-12" 12" inch gauge miniature train
- "G-16" 16" inch gauge miniature train
- George F. Johnson Recreation Park Carousel, Binghamton, New York
- George W. Johnson Park Carousel, Endicott, New York
- Gulf Coaster, a kiddie coaster at both Great America parks
- Helicopter at Quassy Amusement Park
- "Herschell-Spillman Carousel" at Balboa Park, San Diego, California
- Highland Park Carousel, Endwell, New York
- Historic South Carousel, Toledo Zoo, Toledo, Ohio. 30 wooden horses, 2 benches.
- Kiddie Boats at Quassy Amusement Park
- Kiddie rides at Midway State Park, Maple Springs, New York
- "Kimberly's Carousel", a restored 1917 carousel with all wooden animals, located on Delaware Avenue in Put-in-Bay, Ohio
- Lentokonekaruselli at Nokkakivi park, Finland
- Leonardtown Volunteer Fire Department Carousel, Leonardtown, Md. Early 1940s Herschell
- Little Dipper, a junior steel roller coaster at Conneaut Lake Park
- "Little Dipper", a roller coaster at Quassy Amusement Park
- Little Laser, a steel kiddie roller coaster at Dorney Park & Wildwater Kingdom
- Little Leaper, a steel roller coaster at Lakemont Park
- "The Looper", a restored vintage Looper flat ride at Knoebels
- "Mad Mouse", a medium wild mouse roller coaster at Little A-Merrick-A
- "Mad Mouse" a set of steel kiddie roller coaster cars owned by O'Neil Amusements
- "Mite Mouse", small wild mouse roller coaster which one the traveling carnival with Silver
- "Monster Mouse", a large wild mouse roller coaster at Puyallup Fair
- "Monster Mouse", a large wild mouse roller coaster at Tinkertown Family Fun Park
- "Over The Jumps: The Arkansas Carousel" in Little Rock, Arkansas, the only carousel in the world with a waving motion
- Perkasie Carousel, a portable carousel built in 1951, Perkasie, Pennsylvania
- "Pony Cart" - in storage at Quassy Amusement Park, Middlebury, Connecticut
- Recreation Park Carousel, Binghamton, New York
- Ross Park Carousel, Binghamton, New York
- "S-16 1865" 16" inch gauge miniature train
- "S-24 Iron Horse" 24" inch gauge miniature train
- Sky Fighter at Quassy Amusement Park
- Sky Wheel (1962), owned by Dixieland Carnival Co.
- Spillman Carousel (1920), park model two course with two chariots & band organ, The Pike at Rainbow Harbor, Long Beach, California
- Stewart Park Carousel, Ithaca, New York
- Twentieth Century Steam Riding Gallery No. 409 aka Schenevus Carousel, Schenevus, NY
- Tuscora Park Carousel, New Philadelphia, Ohio
- West Endicott Park Carousel, Endicott, New York
- Wild Kitty, a steel roller coaster at Frontier City
- Morgan, Brian. "Major Carousel Builders and Carvers." National Carousel Association. 2008. 24 Nov 2008 <http://www.nca-usa.org/Carvers_Builders3.html>
- Tim Trager (20 April 2008). "Some History on Limonaire Freres And Its Famous Band Organs". Carousel News. Retrieved 20 April 2008.
- Chance, Harold (2004). The Book of Chance. Wichita, Kansas: Wichita Press. p. 31. ISBN 0-9649065-0-3.
- Greenfield Village - Historic Rides and Transportation