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Pinto Bros. Pony Cart

Pinto Bros. Pony Cart, Image Courtesy of Cowan’s Auctions, Inc., Cincinnati, Ohio

This charming cast iron pony and wood cart manufactured in Coney Island, New York, by the Pinto Brothers is up for auction on May 19 at Cowan’s Auctions in Cincinnati. Two bids have already been placed online via liveauctioneers. The Pinto Brothers were kiddie ride manufacturers in Coney Island during the 1940s and ’50s. Like their better known contemporary William F Mangels, who also manufactured a popular pony cart ride, the Pinto family had a factory on West 8th Street. Pinto rides turn up less frequently than Mangels, which makes this piece of Coney Island memorabilia desirable despite– or perhaps because of?– its condition: “Unrestored, horse repainted, paint loss to cart, wooden slats of cart damaged with age.”

The owner found the piece at an antique mall in Lexington, Kentucky, where its name plate and Coney Island provenance went unnoticed: Pinto Bros Mfg. Amusement Devices, Coney Island, NY, USA. Among the kiddie rides that they manufactured and advertised for sale were a carousel, ferris wheel, rocket, roller coaster, miniature trains, sail boats, fire engine and pony carts.

Pinto Bros Nov 1951

In June 1948, the Billboard reported that Pinto Bros three new kiddie pony and cart rides built in their shop at 2940 West 8th Street were featured at Feltman’s park, in McCullough’s lot adjoining the Dangler on West 15th and Surf, and in Asbury Park. The brothers Albert and Silvio, along with their cousin Henry and father Silvio Sr., also operated a variety of other rides in Coney Island, including a Mangels Whip, a Scrambler, and the Tornado roller coaster and Spook House.

When the widening of the street for the New York Aquarium construction swallowed up their shop in 1954, they continued to manufacture ride parts for customers and operate rides. In 1959, the Pinto family bought the Cyclone roller coaster, which they operated before selling it to the City a decade later. According to a post with reminiscences of the Pinto Brothers on the Coney Island History Project’s blog “Ask Mr. Coney Island,” a pony and cart was restored at the Merry-Go-Round Museum in Sandusky, Ohio.

UPDATE May 21, 2012:

The price realized for the Pinto Bros. Pony Cart was $470.00.

Pinto Bros Nameplate

Pinto Bros Mfg of Coney Island, New York Manufacturers Plate on Pony Cart Ride, Image courtesy of Cowan’s Auctions, Inc., Cincinnati, Ohio

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