New Crank Shafts for Historic New York State Carousels

Brass-Ring-Carousel-Co-crank-shafts
1909 PTC #18 Carousel at Destiny USA, Syracuse, NY.

PTC #18 Carousel at Destiny USA, Syracuse NY.

New Crank Shafts for 1909 PTC #18 at Destiny USA and for Broome County’s 1934 Allan Herschell Endicott Carousel at George W. Johnson Park

Reprinted from The Carousel News & Trader, Vol. 26, No. 10

By Dan Horenberger

The Carousel Center Mall [now Destiny-USA] contacted us about getting their carousel ready for its 20th anniversary and making the carousel ADA compliant. Since the installation, the carousel never had all of the crankshafts working correctly. Many were broken and the State of NY ride inspectors tagged others as not usable.

Brass Ring Carousel Company was brought in to make all new crankshafts. The first step was having the inspectors pass our drawings. All of our drawings needed to be stamped by a certified Mechanical Engineer. It’s not a problem for us since most states require this prior to the manufacturing of new parts. Engineered precision crankshafts.

New cranks go up, old cranks come down.

New cranks go up, old cranks come down.

Key-way slots being milled on site at the mall.

Key-way slots being milled on site at the mall.

The new crankshaft is up and ready to be tied in in Endicott.

The new crankshaft is up and ready to be tied in in Endicott.

We made the new crankshafts at our shop and then the ordeal started. It’s just a casual 2,800 mile ride to Syracuse from our shop. Three days and we were there, ready to go. But, unlike most jobs, the carousel is in a mall. No day time work for us. We get to start our workday at 10 p.m., when the mall closes. Then, the next issue is that the carousel is on the second floor. Every part had to go up an escalator. Glad we didn’t have to bring the whole carousel in that way. But a few trips up and down and the parts are at the carousel.

Hisktoric-1909-ptc-18-carousel-destiny-usa-susan-germain-paint-photoSince we didn’t want to move the crankshaft gears from the original shafts, we cut the shafts and spliced our new shafts to the original crankshaft gear. To do that we had to bring in a portable milling machine from the shop and milled the key-way slots on site, at night while the mall was closed. The mall wanted to keep the carousel open every day, so we had to work piece-by-piece to get the job done, day-after-day one crankshaft at a time.

The carousel had never been timed or balanced so when we were done not only did all of the animals finally jump up and down, but did it with ease. No one at the mall had ever seen it work 100% in the last 20 years.

The real reward for us came when the job was done. We we’re too tired to care any more, other then it was done. Then, the public come in to ride, and noticed the difference. Their telling the mall they could tell the difference made those long, painful nights go away pretty quickly. We all have options on how to make a living. Seeing the public’s smiling faces on a carousel we just repaired makes us remember why carousel restoration is the road we chose.

 

Restored PTC #18 horses. Paint artist, Sue Germain.

The 18th carousel built by the Philadelphia Toboggan Co., PTC #18 was built in 1909. According to PTC records, the carousel started out in Kentucky, then operated in Massachusetts and Pennsylvania. After being refurbished at the factory in 1926, the carousel was off to Syracuse – first Long Branch, and then Roseland Aumsement Park which closed in 1985. The carousel was saved at auction by a real estate developer and incorporated into the new retail complex which opened in 1990. The historic carousel remains a prized centerpiece of the retail complex, now known as Destiny USA, where it will prepares to celebrate 25 years.

For good eating, shopping and family fun, visit the historic carousel at www.destinyusa.com.

Sizing up the job ahead at the Endicott Carousel.

Sizing up the job ahead at the Endicott Carousel.

(Excerpt from “Dan’s Desk”, The Carousel News & Trader, Novemeber, 2010)

“A few carousels found some money this year to get much needed mechanical work done. We were pretty busy all year working on carousels coast-to-coast – that’s what you do in a recession, get back to the bread and butter – in our case, the grease. Included in the work was a new ring gear for Crescent Park and new crankshafts for PTC #18 in Syracuse. See stories on these carousels inside this issue. We also installed new crankshafts for the 1934 Allan Herschell menagerie in Endicott, NY.”

Allan Herschell jumper on the Endicott Carousel.

Allan Herschell jumper on the Endicott Carousel.

One of the 6 Broome County Carousels, Endicott is very well maintained. The carousel animals all looked great, and now you can count on a nice smooth ride.”

The Endicott Carousel at George W. Johnson Park in Endicott, NY , is a 1934 Allan Herschell. The 3-row former portable has 36 Jumping Horses and 2 chariots. And although built as a portable, the historic carousel remains in its original location at George W. Johnson Park since 1934. The carousel is listed in the National Register of Historic Places and in the National Historical Register in 1991.

For even more information on the Endicott Carousel click here.

Or the Binghamton Visitor’s Bureau site here.