Archive of the Month

William Tindall Deworth’s Merry-go-round

William Tindall DeWorth was born in Bordentown in 1845 to Joseph (1815-1856) and Mary Carson DeWorth (1815-1904). He worked as a machinist for over 30 years at the American Bridge Company (subsidiary of US Steel). With his background as a machinist, he constructed a portable merry-go-round, powered by a steam engine, that he transported to local fairs in the 1890s. Creating a character known as “Professor” Deworth, he also performed ventriloquism and fire-eating acts for young and old audiences at the fairs. He based his merry-go-round on a model that he built in the 1890s. The original animals on the model were made of paper mache but over time, they fell apart. Later on, one of his grandsons replaced them with plastic figures. Today, his model merry-go-round is in the possession of the Bordentown Historical Society thanks to his relative, Irene Cornish, of New York State. Since its donation, an electric motor has been added to make it work once again.