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MMD > Archives > July 1998 > 1998.07.11 > 04Prev  Next

Roller Coasters by Philadelphia Toboggan Company
By Matthew Caulfield

The "Toboggan" part of the Philadelphia Toboggan Company (PTC) name
has given rise to the story that the company made sleds during the off
season.  Nice story, but untrue.  For one thing a carousel manufacturer
would be pretty busy during the winter; his off-season, if he had one,
would likely be during the summer when parks were busy operating and
not ordering new rides.

PTC started out making roller coasters, which were in the early days
called toboggan rides.  Hence the name.  Eventually Henry Auchy and
Chester Allbright became better known for their merry-go-rounds than
for their coasters.  PTC still exists in Lansdale, Pa., selling parts
for the Skee-Ball machines that became their principal line after the
demise of the ride business.  They also make some kind of counting
machine or something (not sure what).

One of their ladies came to our Washington, D.C., National Carousel
Association convention to report on the company's activities and to
ask for help in reconstructing the company's historical archives.  Like
many firms, now that it too late, they want to preserve their early
history.  They have also licensed the PTC name to a present-day company
(Carousel Magic?) which will build PTC machines again.

Side note: in the 1960's Merrick Price, the son-in-law of George
Long, went down to PTC and bought, as a surprise for George, who had
worked for PTC as a youth when he was attending Drexel Institute, the
company's old Lochman carving machine, used to rough out 4-at-a-time
carousel figures.  It was brought to Rochester and again used for its
original purpose and also displayed in Seabreeze Park's museum.

It was destroyed in the fire March 31, 1994.  All that remains of it
is the Lochman nameplate.  A similar Lochman machine is owned by one
of the Mansfield, Ohio, carousel companies.

Matthew Caulfield

(Message sent Sat 11 Jul 1998, 16:28:29 GMT, from time zone GMT-0700.)

Key Words in Subject:  Coasters, Company, Philadelphia, Roller, Toboggan

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