Historic Brooklyn Cemetery Celebrates The Genius Behind The Great American Amusement Park

Green-Wood Launches Kickstarter Campaign to Fund Exhibition on Permanent Resident William Mangels

If you’ve ever squealed with delight on legendary amusement park rides like the Whip, Tickler, Wave Pool and Human Roulette Wheel, or enjoyed a gallop on a beautifully carved carousel horse, you can thank William Mangels (1866-1958) – German immigrant, mechanic and permanent resident of Brooklyn’s Historic Green-Wood Cemetery.

To honor this genius who played a key role in the creation of great turn-of-the-century American amusement parks, Green-Wood announced today that it will mount a major exhibition, “William F. Mangels: Amusing the Masses on Coney Island and Beyond” funded, in part, by a Kickstarter campaign launched today.

Co-hosted by the Coney Island History Project, the exhibition will be filled with original Mangels artifacts including a carousel horse, 22-foot-long shooting gallery, cast-iron target ducks, Whip car, Pony-Carts, kiddie Speed Boat, Mangels blueprints, paintings and sketches, and hundreds of other unique items. The exhibition will run from September 6 through October 26, 2014 in Green-Wood’s Historic Chapel – the site of numerous exhibitions over the years.

While Green-Wood already has an impressive Mangels collection, collectors from coast-to-coast have agreed to loan their one-of-a-kind pieces for the exhibition. Green-Wood must raise capital through Kickstarter to ship those items, as well as to support installation, lighting and creation of displays.

Green-Wood estimates that it will need $31,000 to mount the exhibition. The Kickstarter goal is $17,500. To date, the Green-Wood Historic Fund has received some funding from Luna Park USA/Zamperla, as well as from additional sources.

Jeff Richman, Green-Wood’s historian, said, “From his Coney Island workshop, William Mangels was in the business of amusing the masses. He once said that if someone asked him to build a ride to the moon, he probably would have done that too! Green-Wood would like to tell his story and amuse some more people. Contribute now! And come see this great exhibition that your support will make possible!”

Everyone who contributes to the Kickstarter campaign will receive a special thank you gift that will bring them closer to Coney Island and Mangels extraordinary rides, even if they live nowhere near Brooklyn.

To make a donation go to: kickstarter.com/projects/amusingthemasses/william-mangels-amusing-the-masses-on-coney-island

To read today’s crowd-based op-ed, news and information please visit CU, or follow us on Twitter at CU – Twitter.

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