Founder and President (1904 to 1922)
In 1899, Henry B. Auchy formed The Philadelphia Carousel Company with partner Louis Berni.
Mr. Auchy had previously been a liquor and produce distributor as well as an owner of large properties in Chestnut Hill Park, just north of Philadelphia. The first carousel produced by The Philadelphia Carousel Company was placed in Auchy’s park, White City Park.
The first few PTC carousels were actually produced under contract with E. Joy Morris, a Philadelphia designer and inventor of amusement rides.
In 1904 Mr. Auchy and Mr. Chester E. Albright joined forces to create Philadelphia Toboggan Company, their primary business was the production of roller coasters, thus the “Toboggan” name.
Though their focus was on roller coasters, Auchy and Albright, both having involvement in amusements parks, wanted to continue to work with carousels.
In 1907 Philadelphia Toboggan Company began numbering the center poles of their carousels. This feature has made PTC Carousels the easiest to trace.
In 1909 Henry Auchy received a patent for an advancement he made for PTC’s carousels. His improvement to the carousal was called the Auchy friction drive, which PTC guaranteed for 25 years. Some carousels today still use the Auchy friction drive fully functioning.
During the early PTC years, Henry B. Auchy leased a number of carousels to parks. Throughout their carousel producing years, 1904-1930, they leased and sold carousels, most made by PTC and some originally produced by other companies and rebuilt by PTC.
PTC hired many German immigrant carvers who produced beautifully carved horses and animals. A few of those carvers went on to start their own carousel companies or to work in other carousel shops. Some of the well-known carvers at PTC were Daniel Muller, Frank Caretta, Leo Zoller, Charles Carmel, Salvatore Cernigliano and John Zalar.
The PTC archives list 90 carousels, however it is thought that about 83 were PTC originals. The remaining few appear to represent machines which were redesigned, rebuilt or redesigned and rebuilt with a sequenced PTC number.
PTC sold their last carousel that they owned and operated to Cedar Point Park in Sandusky, Ohio in 1960.
Henry B. Auchy passed away in September 1922 and PTC ceased the production of carousels in 1930. The company was then left in the hands of Herbert P. Schmeck.