1916 #1 Special This historic carousel has 36 hand carved horses and over 580 lights. The carousel was intended as a thrill ride for adults. Our carousel is unique because it combines two different styles of horses. The larger horses on the outer row of the carousel are the 'new and improved' 1916 Allan Herschell style while the two inner rows of horses are from the late 1890s.
Small children under 43 inches in height may ride on the large 1916 carousel if they are accompanied by an adult.
Kiddie Carrousel Our Children's Gallery houses a small 1940s aluminum carousel, called a 'Kiddie Carousel'. The Allan Herschell Company created it for small children to ride without the need for adults to accompany them. The horses are child-size and the machine moves slower than a full sized carousel. We only permit children under 43 inches tall on our Kiddie Carousel, as intended by the Allan Herschell Company.
Both carousels operate daily during the Museum’s hours. We take great care to preserve them, as both are rare historical artifacts. Both carrousels are interactive museum exhibits and are not available without museum admission.
KIDDIELAND TESTING PARK
Though hand-carved carrousels the signature of the Allan Herschell Company for decades, by the 1950s small metal rides for children had become a top seller. The company created and sold "Kiddielands" all across the United States. Our outdoor area features four refurbished kiddie rides; Pony Cart, Wet Boats, Auto Ride, and The Helicopters, from the factory’s baby boom era. While it is outside of the museum building, our Kiddieland Testing Park is an interactive exhibit that is included with museum admission. Please look to our hours and admissions page for our seasonal dates and hours of operation.
"The Allan Herschell Carrousel Factory achieves significance as one of only two surviving manufacturing complexes associated with the production of carousels during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. With its architectural integrity intact, the factory is a unique link with this bygone industry, which once provided one of America’s favorite forms of recreation."
-The National Register of Historic Sites, 1985
The complex, which is listed on both the New York State and National Registers of Historic Sites, is a series of seven interconnected structures which once housed all of the manufacturing components of the Allan Herschell Company.Allan Herschell purchased the building in 1915, the building was home to a large carving shop, a paint shop, a storage area, an upholstery shop, a machine shop, and a roundhouse where carousels were assembled and tested before shipping.
WURLITZER MUSIC ROLL DEPARTMENT
The still-operational equipment in this exhibit demonstrates the production of paper music rolls. Band organs use these rolls to produce universally recognized sound of an carousel. The Wurlitzer Music Roll Department includes over 1600 hand-punched original master music rolls dating back to the turn of the century.
All of the American-made band organs were produced in North Tonawanda (with few individual exceptions), from 1893 until 1945. Our collection includes: The Artizan “Style D”, The Wurlitzer Style 125 Military Band Organ, The Wurlitzer Style 146 Orchestral Organ, and The Wurlitzer Caliola.