Grand Carousel

Grand Carousel

It had always been Earl Jamison’s vision to have a carousel in Peddler’s Village that was fun, exciting, and visually stimulating to children, but also elegant and beautiful for the adult enthusiast. This commitment is evident in the fully restored 1922 Philadelphia Toboggan Company (P.T.C.) carousel installed in 1998.

In January 1998, Earl Jamison, founder/creator of Peddler’s Village, found an antique carousel in deplorable condition, stripped of its original figures, that he would save and return to its opulent glory. The normal time required to restore a carousel of this magnitude would be a minimum of two years, but Jamison insisted on an accelerated completion date as to minimize the down time and not disappoint the many Peddler’s Village visitors. There would be no compromises in the quality of the restoration even with the tight time frame. In order to complete this task, both local and national craftsmen and artists were hired. They were all eager to take part in this unique opportunity.

Master Carver Ed Roth from Long Beach, CA was commissioned to custom carve 46 figures in bass wood using the traditional techniques of master carvers from a century ago. The Learning Channel, a cable network, filmed a hour-long program on Ed Roth featuring the figures he was carving for the Grand Carousel. Roth was instructed to reproduce exact copies of some of the greatest carousel figures ever carved. The Illions Supreme-style outside row jumpers have delicate manes, real horse-hair tails, and as many as fifty glass jewels inlaid in their beautiful trappings. The large Muller-styled Armored King horse is magnificently reproduced in every detail. There are many menagerie animals as well, including a Dentzel-style lion, goat, giraffe, one spotted hog, and two rabbits.

History of P.T.C. #59

Built in 1922 in Philadelphia, P.T.C. #59 is one of the grandest carousels ever produced during the Golden Age of Carousels. P.T.C. is known for top-quality machines that are both durable and beautiful. They produced a total of 89 carousels; only 26 still exist today. Each of their machines was sequentially numbered, ours being the 59th one produced. It had been in storage for over 13 years and was in need of a great deal of work. Earl Jamison saved this carousel from being stripped for parts knowing that it will bring great joy to all who visit the Grand Carousel and Peddler’s Village.

First Exhibited
P.T.C. #59 was the company’s showpiece at the 1922 National Association of Amusement Parks convention in Chicago.

First Park Location
Schuylkill Park, Pottsville, PA 1922 – 1927

Second Park Location
White City Park Worcester, MA 1928-1948

Third Park Location
Wedgwood Park Oklahoma City, OK 1949 – 1968

Fourth Park Location
Petticoat Junction Panama City, FL 1969 – 1985

Fifth Park Location
Grand Carousel Peddler’s Village, Lahaska, PA July 1998

Facts and Features

  • Built by the Philadelphian Toboggan Company, Duval Street, Germantown, PA in 1922.
  • Over 950 clear light bulbs (11 watts each) creating 10,450 watts of glittering illumination.
  • Forty-six hand-carved wood figures, by Master Carver Ed Roth from Long Beach, CA.
  • Figures include: horses, armor horses, giraffe, goat, rooster, rabbits, lion, and spotted hog.
  • Eight Outside Row figures have been converted to Outside Row jumpers in the Illions Supreme style with over 30 glass jewels each.
  • Thirty-six scenery panels have been restored in oil-painted landscapes, children and animals. Eighteen panels are on the Roundingboard Shields and 18 panels are on the top of the Center surround.
  • Tin Vaulted Ceilings have been painted sky blue with clouds, birds and butterflies.
  • Grand Arched Roundingboards, exemplifying the zenith of the art form, are decorated with beautiful bouquets of flowers on a cobalt blue field.
  • Over 3,000 hours of hand painting was required to return this work of art to its original grandeur.
  • At least eight horses will have REAL horse-hair tails.
  • Over 500 lbs. of brass poles.
  • Over 3,000 parts of the carousel were restored or re-manufactured.
  • Center pole is 24′ tall and over 1,500 lbs.