North Tonawanda, New York: Carousels Factory TourA museum in a former merry-go-round factory. Tours include a spin on a working carousel.
Herschell Carousel Factory Museum
- 180 Thompson St., North Tonawanda, NY
- At the Herschell Carousel Factory Museum. I-290 exit 2. Drive north, cross the river, stay on 425 and turn left on Christiana St., cross under the highway, then drive eight blocks. Turn right onto Vandervoort St., then right onto Thompson St.
- Apr-Dec. (Call to verify)
- Adults $6, Seniors $5, Kids $3.
Visitor Tips and News About Carousels Factory Tour
It's a self-guided, do-it-yourself tour. The tour is ok, but not a ton to do. The gift shop is more amazing than the tour. Cost is $6.00 for adults.[Jen Marceaux, 07/01/2014]
Nice carousel museum, and we loved the Wurlitzer music player section. Riding the 100 year old carousel was fun and a nice touch, although I wish the museum was a bit more interactive.[Alex, 08/14/2013]
Founded in 1915, the Allan Herschell Company was once the most prolific designer and builder of carousels in the nation, making over 3,000 hand-carved wooden carousels.[Chris Harmon, 06/22/2013]
This is a great place to visit for both the young and young at heart. The museum is housed in the Allan Herschell Factory complex, which was a major manufacturer of amusement rides during its time.
When you first walk into the museum your right inside one of the shops where they carved the carousel horses and menagerie animals, and displayed are the machinery (some belt driven) and hand tools needed by craftsman. They also have a climate controlled room in which are a wide spectrum of animals carved by the company, which were purchased from a private collector.
Probably the most "hands on" exhibit is in the round house, where they used to test the carousels. They have set up a 1916 Herschell Carousel, complete with a Wurlitzer band organ to accompany your "spin" 'round the room with appropriate music.
Last time I was there they had just acquired the original roll punching machinery from the Wurlitzer factory used to make paper player rolls for band organs, and all of their master rolls. Quite fascinating![Cory Wright, 10/22/2008]
A carousel test chamber! Wonder if they pushed the centrifugal limits of guinea pig children to fine-tune rotation speeds?