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The Herschell Carousel Factory Museum

Rochel Burstyn

Have you been on a Lag B’Omer trip? Perhaps you went to a park, or a museum, or on a carousel ride? Or perhaps you visited a factory? Well, we’re taking you on a trip that combines everything: a carousel factory museum on park grounds!

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

merry go roundThe museum building in North Tonawanda, New York, is red-brick and says “Allan Herschell Carrousels” in white paint. This is the exact location of the Allan Herschell Company, the 4th and last of Allan’s companies, which opened its doors in 1916 and closed in 1955.

 

Humble Beginnings

Our tour guide, Katie, tells us about the factory’s founder, Allan Herschell. Allan was a Scottish immigrant who settled in New York in 1869 at age 18. He loved tinkering with tools and he got official training in working with machinery gears. Allan’s first company made gears and steam engines for farm equipment. One day, when Allan paid a visit to New York, everything changed. There, he saw his first-ever carousel. Allan was enthralled and decided to open a carousel factory. He did a lot of sketching and experimenting, got together the tools he needed, opened a company, and produced his first carousel in 1883. The carousels were a huge hit and Allan went into full-time carousel production. 

 

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