Monday, November 10, 2008

10 Facts about the Gillians Wonderland Pier Carousel

Today I wrapped up the article about the the carousel at Gillians Wonderland Pier, the article that will go with these pictures.

What a neat thing to have in South Jersey, and not just because it's pretty and fun. Here's 10 interesting things I learned:

1. The carousel was built in 1926 by the Philadelphia Toboggan Company, the oldest still operating wooden roller coaster company in the world (now called Philadelphia Toboggan Coasters).
2. PTC made 87 wooden carousels, all between 1904 and 1934. Because so few were created, the carousels are often referred to by their numbers.
3. The Wonderland Pier carousel is number 75.
4. Only 32 are still in operation.
5. The Wonderland Pier carousel is one of the few left where you can grab for rings during the ride -- they swing over a wooden arm toward the ride, and you can lean over and grab for rings. Get the brass one and you win tickets.
6. While built in 1926, it didn't come to Ocean City until 1972.
7. It has 50 horses.
8. Horses that don't mover are called "standers." Those that go up and down as the ride turns are called "jumpers."
9. All of the horses are original except one -- David Gillian donated one horse to the Ocean City Historical Museum in 1990 in honor of his 100th birthday. It was replaced with a fiberglass recreation.
10. PTC stopped making new horses in 1925. So what are those 'original' horses on the carousel in Ocean City? Older models that redecorated and put on the carousel.

If you're worried you just read the entire article in 10 facts, never fear. The piece is much different -- more my experiences at the carousel over the last 27 years (egads, 27) than report. I hope you'll like it. The article should come out this spring in the Ocean City version of this book.

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1 comment:

John and Lisa Howard-Fusco said...

I'm pretty sure that my folks probably have a picture or two with me riding that carousel. Wonderland was my first boardwalk experience as a kid. - John