1913 – Letter from the owner of a merry-go-round providing a detailed description of the ride which he is attempting to sell to a lawyer who apparently aspires to own a traveling carnival
Rochester, Pennsylvania to Forkton, Kentucky: 1913. Unbound.
Two-page manuscript letter from Walter R. Javens, of Rochester, Pennsylvania offering to sell his merry-go-round to Mr. R. G. [Rowland Greenup] Railey of Forkton, Kentucky. Along with the letter is a two-page detailed mimeographed description of the ride. Both are enclosed in their original mailing envelope. In nice shape. A transcript of the letter will be included. No need to transcribe the merry-go-round description as it is typed and easy to read.
“Regarding Merry Go-Round. . ..I now have same in operating since Decoration Day and have been doing big business. My reason for selling is that I have a rupture and am compelled to give up traveling, owing to being on my feet too much, therefore I have to depend almost entirely on hired help which hasent been very satisfactory.
“I have several good big Fairs booked during August and September that I will turn over to the buyer. these fairs alone should clear enough profit to pay for the entire outfit. . .. I now have a guarantey of $50000 for 2 days operation on July 4” and 5” If I can sell the Merry Go Round and Merry Widow Swings both to one party sometime during July, I will accept $140000 cash for both, and turn the fair contracts over to the buyer, and the price should easily be cleared up in a profit of the much during August and September.
“Cant you come on and look these over and see for yourself.
“I really don’t know of any other Merry Go Rounds For Sale at present, only 2 old worthless outfits that are an old style and worn out.
“As to Ferris Wheels and Miniature R.Rs. I cant just locate any at present but if you would come on, but over by the time you get burn. I would have some located by inquiring around. Can I look for you. come prepared to do business as you will find my outfits as represented, and I know they will suit you. . ..”
His description of the merry-go-round reads in part:
“It is a North Tonawanda . . . 20” Century outfit, 32 ft. in diameter, in perfect order and condition, latest model, having 24 Rocking Horses, ‘2 abreast’, and two double-seated Chariots, all elegantly carved and decorated, . . . 12 new style horse rockers, whereby the horses set on instead of the old style bolting. . .. Scenery, oil painted canvass for center, posts and braces for same. . .. Tent and side wall is 10 oz. canvass in good condition and revolves with machine. . .. The Organ is a ‘Rudolph Wurlitzer; make, one of the finest and best made for Merry Go Round use, has a rich, powerful tone, containing 10 selections of late and up-to-date music. The outfit runs by steam, having 10 horse power. . .. There are gasoline torches; also a full equipment of electric fixtures . . . for illumination. . .. This is the latest improved up-to-date outfit on the market. . .. Nicely painted, striped and decorated, and practically as good as brand new. . .. I also have a good set of six Merry Widow Scup Swings that are great money getters with a Carnival . . . or in a Park. . ..". Very good. Item #010055
A most unusual letter; I couldn’t discover if Mr. Railey got his carnival up and running.
At the time of listing, nothing similar if for sale in the trade. The Rare Book Hub shows nothing similar has ever appeared at auction. No similar items are listed by OCLC, however Railey’s business papers are held by Western Kentucky University..