The Herschell Carrousel Factory Museum in North Tonawanda, New York is the only museum in the world housed in an authentic, original carousel factory building.
Visitors to the museum can ride the two antique carousels currently being operated inside its building complex. The large 1916 #1 Special carousel is 40 feet in diameter, has over 580 lights and features 36 hand carved horses in two completely different styles, making it unique among carousels. The large wild looking horses on the outer row of the machine are the "new and improved" 1916 Allan Herschell style, while the two inner rows of horses are an older style dating from the late 1890's.
This carousel, which rotates at approximately 6.5 revolutions per minute and was intended as a thrill ride for adults, was one of the first machines the company shipped after it opened for business in 1915.
Located in the Children's Gallery is the museum's other working carousel. Called a "Kiddie Carousel" in the Allan Herschell Company catalog, the small 1940's aluminum machine was created specifically for small children to ride without the need for adults to accompany them. The horses are child-size and the machine moves more slowly than a full sized carousel. The Kiddie Carousel has been completely restored and while adults cannot ride on the machine, it is a delight to the eyes.
In addition to its operating carousels, the Herschell Carousel Factory Museum features exhibits on the history and growth of the Herschell Companies, demonstrates carving, horse restoration and band organ roll production and offers woodcarving classes at beginner, intermediate and advanced levels, classes for young people, numerous family events, and guided tours for groups of all ages.
Additionally, family entertainment days during the summer include celebrations of the birth of Milton Hershey who was born the same year as Allan Herschell and Hawaii Day which became the 50th state the same year the company moved to Wichita, Kansas.
The museum is open to the general public from April through December and is a must-see for lovers of old carousels and families.
Carousel Factory Museum
180 Thompson St.
North Tonawanda, NY 14120
$5.00 for adults
$4.00 for seniors
$2.50 for children ages 2-12.