Park Sherman Company: The Merry-Go-Round Revolving Bar February 08 2016, 4 Comments

You might recognize the name Park Sherman, and if you do then you will know why some of their things are just way too much fun to pass up! Can you guess what this is?

Audrey Would Vintage Home Park Sherman Merry Go Round Bar Dispenser

Don't worry. I will get to that, but first a little about the company...

The Park Sherman Company was founded by Jacob Sherman in the early 1930s and operated out of Springfield, Illinois until 1960. That's right, through the dirty '30s and into the suave era of the 1950s! Park Sherman was formerly Shanklin Manufacturing, the original manufacturer of the carbide miners lamp. In fact, founder George Shanklin copyrighted the design in 1913. When Park Sherman took over, they continued to produce the carbide miners lamp along with other lamps, but actually became better known for their production of novelty pieces, household goods and office accessories. Think cigarette lighters and cases, tobacco pipe stands, metal match containers, pen holders and brass desk calendars to name a few, and of course barware.

This is the popular Park Sherman liquor dispenser known as the Merry-Go-Round Revolving Bar. 

Audrey Would Vintage Home_Park Sherman Merry Go Round Liquor Dispenser

Do you recognize the base? Yes, we love the sparkle, you know we do!

Let me describe how this collectible Park Sherman shot dispenser works. First, it comes apart so the pretty pressed glass base can be filled with your whiskey of choice. It looks small but actually holds 1 quart, plenty for dispensing "A jigger in a jiffy"!

Audrey Would Vintage Home Park Sherman Merry Go Round Liquor Dispenser

This little instruction booklet was included with each revolving bar. 

Audrey Would Vintage Home Park Sherman Merry Go Round Revolving Bar

I love the added feature of the metal nameplates described on page 3. They were designed to identify which whiskey would be pumped from the spout! This attention to detail is what set Park Sherman products apart. 

Audrey Would Vintage Home Park Sherman Merry Go Round Liquor Dispenser

The chrome plated tray is another aspect thoughtfully designed out. It not only holds 6 shot glasses, but can be turned by hand around the pump. Stop the tray and fill each glass on the pass!

Audrey Would Vintage Home Merry Go Round Revolving Bar

Just think how much fun hosting a party could be!

Audrey Would Vintage Home Park Sherman Merry Go Round Revolving Bar

During Park Sherman's reign their ads were quipped with catchy phrase, "Precision Made by Park Sherman, Springfield, Illinois". With features like the spinning tray, products like the revolving bar, we would have to agree, 'Precision Made'!

Like many others, eventually Park Sherman Company's time was up. In 1960, after 30 years in business, they sold to New Jersey's Ketcham & McDougall. Not only was the Park Sherman legacy no more, but the division was also moved out of Springfield, Illinois to Murfreesboro, Tennessee. Labour troubles and wage costs were behind Ketcham & McDougall's decision to make the move, and of the 300 employees, only seven moved too.

This was the end of an era for the legendary Park Sherman Company...

Audrey Would Vintage Home Park Sherman Merry Go Round Revolving Bar

...and for founder Jacob Sherman who died a year after the sale.

At Audrey Would! we appreciate quality craftsmanship and design. This Merry-Go-Round Revolving Bar is one of those pieces, and currently remains in our private collection. If you are looking for unique vintage barware stop by! Visit our barware online.

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Photographs © Audrey Would! Vintage Home


Historical information: Original content copyright Sangamon County Historical Society.