1964-65 New York World's Fair Carousel
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The Carousel from the fair was made by Mangels-Illions, 1903-08. Consists of all Illions horses- 4 row, 64 jumpers, 7 standers, 1 menagerie, 2 chariots and the Bruder band organ. The frame, the organ, the chariots & 47 horses from the Stubbmann Carousel and 24 horses from Feltman's Carousel were combined for 1964-65 Worlds Fair. (Coney Island, Brooklyn, NY, 1903 to 1964; Coney Island, Brooklyn, NY, 1908 to 1964; World's Fair 1964 to 1965; Corona Park 1968 to present.)

Here are two pictures of a young fellow enjoying the carousel at the fair!

Click on each photo for a larger version

This appears to be the same horse as the one pictured in Section 15 below

Above photos courtesy Randy Treadway


Early photograph of The Lion as seen in Section 1 below (Rol Summit)


Photos taken Saturday, April 18, 1970 at Flushing Meadows. 
All photos (C) Flying Horses

It appears the horses have been repainted since the fair.

Click on each photo for a larger version


What happened to the carousel horses that were not used at the fair?

The remaining horses left over after combining the two original Coney Island carousels have a story to tell too!


Click the picture for the catalog

"The catalog was the culmination and threshold of our past and future efforts at carousel research and conservation.  We were already active collectors and would-be "experts" and warmly engaged with the West Coast descendants of M.C. Illions in 1970 when Jim Wells' ad appeared in " Amusement Business". On arrival in Fairfax, VA in April,  Jim insisted that his stock represented the WF residue, so I flew up to Flushing Meadows to verify that (source of the photos above). With the help of  telephone excitement from Jo, a tax refund and a loan  from my parents and with reassuring persuasion from Wells,  I bought the group of 50 horses the next day, a decision that forever refocused our lives.  We had neither space nor capital to keep all the horses, so the summer of 1970 was a startup for the October launching of "Flying Horses". The response to a tiny display ad in Sunset magazine was massive;  the horses sold quickly and our burgeoning mailing list formed the core of contacts in our co founding of the National Carousel Association." 

Roland Summit, Flying Horses, Rolling Hills, CA 90274

Click here for the amazing historical journey with FLYING HORSES

Not too long ago at Flushing Meadows Corona Park

New Horses 2.JPG (34364 bytes)

New Horses 1.JPG (32062 bytes)

(Photos: M. Silverstein 2001)


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Click the photos to see larger versions - Provided by Debra Jane Seltzer

About the maker of the horses:

A Brief Illions History from "The Carousel Network"

At age fourteen, with seven years wood sculpting experience, Marcus Charles Illions left Lithuania and traveled alone to Germany.  He soon moved on to England where he carved for the renowned carousel and amusement manufacturer, Frederick Savage of King's Lynn.  In 1888, Illions traveled to the U.S.  He may have worked for others or set up his own carving shop to provide amusement carvings on commission.

Around 1890 Illions began to work for Charles Looff.  It was undoubtedly Illions who took the early Looff style and transformed it into the dynamic, vibrant creations that epitomize Coney Island carvings.  He continued to develop that style while working with others, including his collaboration with Wm. F. Mangels on the rebuilding of the fire-damaged Feltman carousel installed in Coney Island in 1880 by Charles Looff.  The resulting "Fabulous Feltman" carousel is said to be one of the finest ever built.

Creativity was Illions forté, and he was known to be a brilliant, strong-willed artist.  The innovative Illions is credited with the first use of gold leafing.  His flying golden manes were soon copied by other carousel makers and have become a hallmark of the Coney Island style.  Illions carousels and carvings are among the most highly desired of all carousel art.

After leaving Looff and making carousel figures for and with others for a few years, Illions began to produce figures to populate the carousels being built by William Mangels, a Coney Island amusement manufacturer, and the inventor of the Whip ride.  Mangels did not make carousel animals himself, but he understood amusement rides and, with his son, took out U.S. patents for a jumping mechanism that freed horses from the carousel platform and allowed them to be set in motion.

Illions, the son of a horse trader, owned and rode horses.  His knowledge of equine anatomy and motion, combined with his artistic eye and highly refined sculptor's skills gave his horses their highly realistic, highly dynamic style.  Mangel's jumping mechanism gave him the opportunity to use his knowledge, artistry and skills in the creation of an entirely new type of carousel horse, the jumper, which Illions captured in the exuberance of its full gallop.

From 1909 to 1929, M.C. Illions & Sons produced some twenty carousels and provided sets of figures to other manufacturers, including Pryor and Church, the Pinto Bros., and the exciting Steeplechase ride at Steeplechase Park in Coney Island.  The largest and finest of the factory offerings was its Supreme model with four rows of highly-decorated horses.

With mass production techniques already drawing business away from the more expensive hand-carved carousel manufacturers, the company was ill-prepared for the ravaging effects of the stock market crash and the ensuing depression.  Although it continued to service its older machinery until 1949 when Illions passed away, carousels were not produced after 1929.

Six remaining Illions carousels can be seen at:

  •     Riverside Park, Agawam, Mass., 1909

  •     Wyandot Lake, Powell, Ohio, 1914

  •     Geauga Lake, Aurora, Ohio, 1918 Illions Supreme

  •     Hempstead Lake State Park, NY, c. 1920

  •     San Francisco Zoo, Calif., c. 1921

  •     Flushing Meadows, Queens, NY
           combined in 1964 from the remains of the
           1903 Feltman and 1908 Stubbmann carousels

From National Carousel Association – 2000 Census

http://www.nca-usa.org/NCAcensusStatesN-O.htm (reprinted with permission)

Flushing Meadows/Corona Park, Queens, NY; [1990]
Mangels-Illions, 1903-08, 4 row, Park, 64 j, 7 s, 1 m, (1LIO), 2 ch; b/o Bruder, plays BAB 88-key & Wurl 165 rolls; Frame,organ,chariots & 47 horses from Stubbmann Carousel-Coney Island. 24 horses from Feltman's. Combined for 64-65 Worlds Fair; History: Coney Island; Brooklyn, NY, 1903 to 1964; Coney Island, Brooklyn, NY, 1908 to 1964; Flushing Meadows/Corona Park, Queens, NY, 1964 to 1965; Flushing Meadows/Corona Park, Queens, NY, 1968 to present; Directions: In Corona Park (site of World's Fair) at 50th Ave & 111th St. Near Zoo., Mailing Address: 50th Ave & 111th St, Queens, NY, 11355

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