I was watching my kid go round and round on this old horse-and-buggy kiddie ride at Deno's Wonder Wheel Amusement Park in Coney Island when I noticed a small iron plaque at the bottom of every buggy. "W.F. Mangels Co. Coney Island New York" it read.
I found the idea of a manufacturing company that identified itself as being based in Coney Island (not Brooklyn, not New York City, but Coney Island) fascinating, so I looked into Mr. Mangels and this is what I found out (some of which I'm sure you smarties out there already know): He was William Fredrick Mangels, a German immigrant. He came to the United States in 1883 and founded his company in 1890. He quickly became a big wheel in the carousel biz, making most of the carousels found at Coney, including the recently shuttered B&B Carousel.
He is thought to be among the first in his line to create kiddie rides, which would explain the Deno attraction.
Mangels is most famous, however, for invented The Whip, which was introduced in 1914. The world went wild for The Whip; the rides were everywhere; some still exist. He died in 1958. His son Albert took over for a while until the company finally folded in the late '70s.
The horse and buggy ride still works fine. My son clanged the hell out of his bell.