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Posts Tagged ‘William F Mangels’

Step Right UpAfter Hurricane Sandy, Coney Island got lucky when a rare vintage 1940’s Mangels shooting gallery from Deno’s Wonder Wheel Park was brought out of storage, restored, and installed at Coney Island USA’s Surf Avenue storefront. As far as we know, it’s the only one of its kind in operation that is open to the public. Since many shooting galleries were sold for scrap iron during World Wars I and II, you’re more likely to come across cast-iron and sheet-metal targets in the shape of birds and beasts, cowboys and Indians, and soldiers and torpedo boats in folk art collections than as a game in an amusement park.

Richard and Valerie Tucker’s passion for collecting figural cast iron began in the`early 1980s with the acquisition of a row of doves from a William F. Mangels’ gallery manufactured in Coney Island. Thirty years later, they own hundreds of shooting gallery targets from a variety of manufacturers. Step Right Up! Classic American Target and Arcade Forms is a sumptuous coffee table art book with more than 225 color images of American and European targets along with a sampling of carnival banners, signs and game pieces. As the first and only book on the subject, the volume is valuable to collectors and of special interest to fans of carnival art and antiques.

In addition to Mangels, the 144-page book has chapters on C.W. Parker of Kansas, William Wurfflein of Philadelphia, the John T. Dickman Company of Los Angeles and Chicago manufacturers Evans, Hoffmann, Mueller, and Smith, as well as miscellaneous targets and a few European targets. Essays by specialists on the manufacturers supplement illustrations from the Tuckers’ archive of catalogs, trade cards and other ephemera which are a great resource since the majority of targets have no trade marks.

Step Right Up! Richard and Valerie Tucker

Card Suits by WF Mangels. Private Collection. Photo: Kimberly Gavin/Kimberly Gavin Photography

One of our favorite target makers is C.W. Parker, who started out as a shooting gallery operator and soon got into the business of supplying traveling carnivals with a wide variety of attractions. Parker had a showman’s flair for borrowing design ideas from his fellow manufacturers and fashioning them into commercially successful shooting galleries and carousels.

No complete Parker galleries are known to exist or even to have been photographed, says Bob Goldsack, a Parker historian who wrote the book’s chapter on the self-proclaimed “Carnival King.” Parker’s highly detailed and mechanized targets included owls and eagles with flapping wings, whippets chasing rabbits, and the now politically incorrect circus animals, Indians, and Lincolnesque figure holding a sign that says “Hit Me” in a gallery advertised as “A New Political Shooting Gallery.”

A lecture and book signing by the authors will be held at the American Folk Art Museum, 2 Lincoln Square, Columbus Ave at 66th St, in Manhattan, on December 18 at 6pm. Admission is free of charge.

Step Right Up! Classic American Target and Arcade Forms by Richard and Valerie Tucker. Schiffer Publishing, 2014. Hardcover, $45

Step Right Up! Richard and Valerie Tucker

Indian by CW Parker. Photo: Kimberly Gavin/Kimberly Gavin Photography

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September 5, 2013: Photo of the Day: Restored WF Mangels Shooting Gallery

February 28, 2013: Coney Island Shooting Gallery from 1940s Makes Comeback

September 28, 2011: Rare & Vintage: Auction of French Fairground Art

February 25, 2010: Happy Belated Birthday to Coney Island’s William F Mangels

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Mangels Shooting Gallery

1940s Mangels Shooting Gallery, Coney Island USA. August 3, 2013. Photo © Tricia Vita

The restoration of the 1940′s Coney Island shooting gallery that ATZ wrote about earlier this year was completed in August and boy is it a beauty. Located next-door to Coney Island USA’s main building, the vintage gallery brings an authentic, old-timey ambiance to that part of Surf Avenue. It’s the third shooting gallery to debut in Coney Island this season as a replacement for equipment and businesses damaged by flooding from Superstorm Sandy.

Made in Coney Island by William F. Mangels, it’s also the only publicly operating shooting gallery of this vintage that we’re currently aware of. There are a few in private collections. Very few. A collector who contacted ATZ, said he had installed one in his home for family and friends to play. Another gallery is used as a decorative piece at a bar in Geneva-on-the-Lake, Ohio, where it was discovered when the restaurant owner was renovating. No shooting allowed!

The gallery restored by Coney Island USA is on loan from Deno’s Wonder Wheel Park, where it was uncovered during post-Sandy renovations. Intact Mangels shooting galleries are exceptionally rare since most were long ago sold for scrap metal or broken up by antique dealers who sell the targets individually. In May, a Mangels cast-iron gallery with over 150 targets from the Elli Buk Collection sold at auction for $60,000 after competitive bidding.

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Mangels Shooting Gallery

1970s Photo of Shooting Gallery Under the Wonder Wheel Made by W.F. Mangels Co., Coney Island. Photograph © 1975 by Charles Denson

A rare vintage 1940’s Coney Island shooting gallery that used to be under the Wonder Wheel is about to come out of retirement and make a comeback on Surf Avenue. Last night Dick Zigun, artistic director of Coney Island USA, announced in a series of tweets that the iconic shooting gallery, which had operated for many decades next to Spook-A-Rama on Jones Walk, would reopen at 1214 Surf Avenue.

Zigun said that the historic shooting gallery will be a “major working exhibit/game fronting CIUSA’s new Art/Culture gallery formerly Denny’s Ice Cream.” The nonprofit arts organization bought Dennis Corines’ ice cream shop and building next door to Coney Island USA’s headquarters last March for $1.3 million. Unfortunately, Denny’s was one of the first casualties of Superstorm Sandy in Coney Island’s amusement area. The building had to be gutted and there was talk of replacing the ruined ice cream machines with a paintball game, mini-golf or a roller rink. The idea of using the Mangels shooting gallery in storage at Deno’s Wonder Wheel Park came up when it had to be moved during renovations after the storm.

Pictured above in a 1975 photograph by Coney Island History Project director Charles Denson, the gallery has cast-iron targets in the shape of soldiers, paratroopers and torpedo boats. It was manufactured in Coney Island by William F. Mangels, the inventor of such early 20th century thrill rides as the Whip and the Tickler, and the builder of the mechanism for the B & B Carousell. Researching a story on antique carnival pieces for Games Magazine a few years ago, we learned from a collector that Mangels held the most patents on shooting gallery targets. From the early 1900s until 1969, well after other manufacturers had gone out of business, his shop on 8th Street produced a wide variety of targets.

Coney Island shooting gallery target

Morphy Auctions

Intact Mangels shooting galleries are exceptionally rare since most were long ago sold for scrap metal or broken up by antique dealers. Last April, ATZ wrote about this Mangels’ paratrooper target up for auction in Pennsylvania. It appears identical to the large paratrooper seen in Charles Denson’s photo. The price realized for the single target was $1,020. In 2009, an intact Mangels mechanical shooting gallery installed at Duke Farms and used by heiress Doris Duke during parties at her home sold at auction for $43,200!

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Mangels Pony Cart Ride at Deno’s Kiddie Park, Coney Island. August 29, 2008. Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i via flickr

Fourth of July calls up memories of riding a Mangels pony cart on the carny kids float in a smalltown parade. When Colbert’s Fiesta played Manomet, Massachusetts for the Fourth, the carnival once made a float bedecked with Pony Carts from the Mangels Pony Cart Ride. The little carny kids, including me, got to ride in the carts on the float, wearing our Sunday best. I remember being awestruck by the teenage girls who suddenly looked like fairy princesses in their prom gowns and tiaras. We flung candy and carnival prizes to the crowd.

This classic pony cart ride at Deno’s Kiddie Park was manufactured a few blocks away at the Mangels Factory on 8th Street in Coney Island, which is now the Deptartment of Motor Vehicles Building. William F. Mangels also invented the Whip, which we had on the carnival too. Happy Memories and Happy Fourth of July!

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May 18, 2012: Rare & Vintage: Pinto Bros. Pony Cart from Coney Island

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Coney Island shooting gallery target

Cast Iron Paratrooper Shooting Gallery Target. Made by W.F. Mangels Co., Coney Island, NY. Morphy Auctions

This rare and delightful cast iron shooting gallery target made by Coney Island’s William F. Mangels is on the auction block at Morphy Auctions. The April 20-21 sale is in central Pennsylvania with online bidding via Live Auctioneers.

The catalogue description says “Made by W.F. Mangels Co., Coney Island, New York. Professionally made mounting stand. Two piece casting. Minor crack on the head of the parachutist. Superb surface and paint. Rare carnival shooting target. Condition (Excellent). Size 18″ T. Estimate: $2,000 – $2,500.”

William F. Mangels, the Coney Island-based inventor of such early 20th century thrill rides as the Whip and the Tickler, also held the most patents on shooting gallery targets. From the early 1900s until 1969, well after other manufacturers had gone out of business, Mangels’ Coney Island shop turned out cast-iron and sheet-metal targets in the shape of birds and beasts, stars and moons, cowboys and Indians, and soldiers and paratroopers.

The target also evokes memories of riders on Coney Island’s landmark Parachute Jump, which closed in 1964. Originally designed by retired Naval commander James Hale Strong to train military paratroopers in the 1930s, parachute towers were modified into amusement attractions when civilians clamored to ride. Coney Island’s Parachute Jump first wowed visitors at the 1939-40 New York World’s Fair. Afterwards, the ride became the star attraction at Steeplechase Park.

Update: The price realized for the target was $1,020.

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November 11, 2011: Up for Auction: Rack of Vintage Carnival Knockdown Dolls

September 28, 2011: Rare & Vintage: Auction of French Fairground Art

February 1, 2011: Bring Back the Whip! A Birthday Gift for William F Mangels

February 25, 2010: Happy Belated Birthday to Coney Island’s William F Mangels

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ATZ’s “Top 10 Coney Island News Stories of 2011” was based on page views, but our fave posts didn’t make the cut. “Sometimes really great posts fall through the cracks, are too esoteric to be popular, or at least deserve another visit,” writes blogger Visualingual, whose exquisite “Looking Back: Best VL Posts of 2010,” (and 2011) inspired us to put together this round-up of ATZ faves. In Part 1 and 2 (tomorrow), you’ll find videos, photos, and an antique image or two to while away the last hours of 2011…

cat

Target the Cat, Coney Island. Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i via flickr

In February we dropped by the Bowery to visit Target the Coney Island Arcade Cat & His Friend Pretty. When the games are open for business, the gregarious Target is likely to be found sitting on the counter of the Balloon Dart. Even in the winter, he can be seen making his rounds.

Also in February, ATZ paid tribute to a legendary Coney Island ride inventor in “Bring Back the Whip! A Birthday Gift for William F Mangels.” But if you want to ride the Whip, you’ll have to take a trip to Rye Playland, Knoebels, Kennywood, Trimper’s or any one of the other parks or carnivals listed on ATZ’s Whip Census in the post. Coney Island, where this classic was invented in 1914, doesn’t have an operating Whip! In this video by sodadaze, you can see the ride in action at Knoebels set to the tune of Devo’s “Whip It.”

In March, ATZ posted historian and Coney Island History Project director Charles Denson’s latest video “Cyclone Roller Coaster: Four Seasons.” This behind-the-scenes look at Coney Island’s landmark roller coaster lets you walk the tracks – summer and winter – and get up close to the machinery in the motor room.

In March, ATZ learned via twitter that Coney Island’s Inexhaustible Cow, a 19th century attraction which dispensed milk for 5 cents a cup, had apparently survived. A Pennsylvania dealer of Americana was selling the wooden cow (milk not included) for $78,000. In Inexhaustible Cows & Bottomless Cups of Chocolate Milk, we looked into the history of the Coney Island cows –there was more than one–and reminisced about bottomless cups of chocolate milk for a quarter at the Michigan State Fair.

Cow, Coney Island from Robert N. Dennis collection of stereoscopic views. New York Public Library, Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs

If you’re adept at reading letters backwards you’ll like this Flickr Slide Show: DNALSI YENOC –> CONEY ISLAND. The letters frame the view from Stillwell Terminal as visitors exit onto Surf Avenue. DNALSI YENOC is also the name of a flickr group started by Coney Island photographer Barry Yanowitz. The collection of photos document the view, which changed irrevocably in 2010 when the Henderson Building and Shore Hotel across the avenue were demolished by Thor Equities. A new building –touted as “The Retail Ride of a Lifetime” by Thor– is now rising on the empty lot.

One of our favorite photos of the summer of 2011 is this Photo of the Day: Umbrellas on Coney Island Beach. On the Fourth of July, photographer Jim McDonnell took this amazing shot of Coney Island’s beach brimming with colorful umbrellas. “The 4th itself started out hazy but turned hot, humid and incredibly crowded!” he said.

Beach Umbrellas in Coney Island

Beach Umbrellas in Coney Island. July 4, 2011. Photo © Jim McDonnell via smugmug

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Whip Car

Mackie 'Rides' the Whip Car at the Coney Island History Project. May 22, 2010. Photo © Coney Island History Project via flickr

This Mangels’ Fairy Whip car is one of our favorite artifacts in the Coney Island History Project’s exhibition center. It was manufactured circa 1920 at William F. Mangels Factory on 8th Street in Coney Island, which is now the Department of Motor Vehicles Building. Mangels, who was the inventor of such early 20th century thrill rides as the Whip and the Tickler, is one of the amusement industry pioneers honored in the Coney Island Hall of Fame.

But if you want to ride the Whip, you’ll have to take a trip to Rye Playland, Knoebels, Kennywood, Trimper’s or any one of the other parks or carnivals listed on ATZ’s Whip Census. This video pays tribute to Mangels, who was born on February 1, 1867, and shows the Whip in action at Knoebels.

Last February we marked the birthday of William F Mangels with a pictorial tribute to his shooting gallery targets. This year we’re proclaiming Bring Back the Whip! It’s a shame that Coney Island, where this classic ride was invented, doesn’t have an operating Whip. Patented by Mangels in 1914, the Whip was one of the first and most popular thrill rides. Old timers tell us there used to be quite a few Whips as well as quite a few carousels and roller coasters in good ol’ Coney Island. Wouldn’t it be fitting to have a Mangels Whip installed in Steeplechase Plaza next to Mangels’ B & B Carousell?

Painted Buckets

Painted Buckets: Scene at Trimpers: The Whip - one of the antique mini rides for the little kids. March 27, 2010. Photo © OC Always via flickr

A couple of years ago we started the Whip Census with the help of our friends on Matt’s Carnival Warehouse forum. We were surprised and pleased to find so many Whips out there! As you’ll see from the list, which we believe is far from complete,the ride is still very popular. And it’s nice to know there are still some traveling ones since the Whip is considered the first portable thrill ride. If you know about additional locations, including rides in storage, please comment below or email hello[at]triciavita[dot]com. Perhaps one of these Whips can be relocated to Coney Island in the future!

Parks

Americana/LeSourdsville Lake Park, Monroe, OH. 8-car Whip added in 1941. Park has been closed since 2002.

Beech Bend Park, Bowling Green KY,  Kiddie Whip bought at Guntown Mt sale, originally from Beech Bend and returned home.

Bushkill Park, Easton, PA. Park is currently closed

Camden Park, Huntington, WV, 8-car model

Canobie Lake Park, Salem, NH, 8-car oval Kiddie Whip

Cedar Point, Sandusky OH, Kiddie Roto Whip

Dorney Park, Allentown, PA, 12-car model

Hillcrest Park, Wilmington, IL, Roto Whip. Park closed and ride was sold at auction in 2003.

Idlewild Park, Ligonier, PA. 12-car Whip added in 1930s. It now has fiberglass cars.

Keansburg Amusement Park, NJ, Roto Whip

Kennywood Park, West Mifflin, PA, 1918: The Whip is added. 1923: Kiddie Whip is among the first four rides in Kiddieland. 1926: The original 12-car Whip is replaced by a new 16-car model. 1975: Kiddie Whip is destroyed in Dance Hall (Ghost Ship) fire. A vintage miniature Whip from Massachusett’s defunct Paragon Park replaced it.

The Whip

The Whip at Kennywood Park Jul 26, 2010. Photo © agentsmj/Scott Jones

Kiddieland, Melrose Park, IL, 1949 Roto-Whip. Park closed & rides auctioned in 2009. Whip purchased for $11,500 by Jeff Kimble, an antiques collector and restoration specialist who has a private, 30-acre indoor park in Loganville, Ga.

Kings Island, Mason, OH, Kiddie Whip

Knoebels, Elysburg, PA, Whip from Croops Glen in Hunlock Creek PA moved to Knoebels in the 40s or 50s. Knoebels also has a Kiddie Whip (Oval).

Lakeside Park, Denver, CO

Lakeside Park, Fond du Lac, WI, Roto Whip

Magic Forest, Lake George, NY, Roto Whip

Midway State Park, Bemus Point, NY, Roto Whip

Pocono Mt Go Kart Play Park, Marshall’s Creek, PA, Roto Whip

Rye Playland, Rye, NY, 12-car model

Stricker’s Grove, Ross, OH, Kiddie Whip

Sylvan Beach Amusement Park on Oneida Lake, NY, Roto Whip and one or two other Mangels pieces.

Trimper’s Rides, Ocean City, MD, Fairy Whip for kids (indoors)

Twin Grove Park & Campground, Pine Grove, PA

Carnivals

Benner’s Amusements, PA, Kiddie  Oval Whip from Eldridge Park in Elmira, NY

Chuck Reid’s Imperial Shows, CT, Roto-Whip

Funtastic Shows, Oregon

Hudson Valley Shows, NY.  Roto Whip

Montana Brothers Amusements, Scranton, PA

Perry Amusements, Ohio. Roto Whip, trailer mounted by the show

Rainbow Promotons, Lansdowne, PA, 6-car model, truck mounted Kiddie Whip that is now on a trailer.

Fatty Rides the Whip

Fatty Arbuckle Rides the Whip in 1917 silent film comedy 'Coney Island'

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February 25, 2010: Happy Belated Birthday to Coney Island’s William F Mangels

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