Thrifting & Vintage

Park Sherman Company: The Merry-Go-Round Revolving Bar Drink Dispenser

July 24, 2017

Park Sherman Company

You might recognize the name Park Sherman Co, and if you do then you will know the barware they manufactured. Can you guess what this is?

Vintage Merry Go Round Park Sherman Drink Dispenser

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

Park Sherman Company History

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.

Park Sherman’s Merry-Go-Round Revolving Bar

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

Vintage Merry Go Round Park Sherman Drink Dispenser

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

Let me describe how this collectible Merry-Go-Round 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”!

Vintage Park Sherman Drink Dispenser

Merry-Go-Round Bar Assembly Instructions

This little instruction booklet was included with each revolving bar.

Vintage Park Sherman Drink Dispenser Instructions

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.

Vintage Park Sherman Drink Dispenser Metal Labels

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!

Vintage Park Sherman Merry Go Round Drink Dispenser Top View

Just think how much fun hosting a party could be!

Vintage Park Sherman Drink Dispenser Bar Cart Vignette

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’!

Park Sherman Closes their Doors

Like many others, eventually the 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 company…

Vintage Park Sherman Merry Go Round Drink Dispenser

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

At Audrey Would! we appreciate quality craftsmanship and design. Park Sherman’s Merry-Go-Round Revolving Bar is definitely one of those pieces.

If you are looking for unique vintage barware pop over to Audrey Would! Vintage and shop our Etsy boutique online.

Thanks for stopping by!

Audrey Would Vintage Home blog



Photographs © Audrey Would! Vintage Home


Historical information: Original content copyright Sangamon County Historical Society.

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  • Reply DANIEL I SIMON January 4, 2020 at 12:24 pm

    I just received a dispenser as a gift and found that the “washer” inside is broken and needs to be replaced. Do you know of a source for a replacement washer? Thank you. Dan Simon

    • Reply Sheila Zeller January 4, 2020 at 10:49 pm

      Hi Dan,
      I’ve been asked about replacement parts in the past, but unfortunately I do not have a distributor to recommend. I would start with a small kitchen appliance repair shop or hardware store to be pointed in the right direction. I hope you can find a replacement. Thank you so much for reaching out!

  • Reply Gail September 10, 2018 at 7:46 am

    When was the decanter made and how much is it worth

    • Reply Sheila Zeller September 18, 2018 at 10:19 pm

      I can’t confirm when the dispenser was made, but I would love to know for sure! What it’s worth depends on so many things like, is it in good working order, how many shot glasses are there, does it have all the dispenser tags, what condition is the chrome in, are there any chips in the glass, does it come with the booklet, is it in its original box…

  • Reply MD June 20, 2018 at 7:01 am

    Thank you very much for the history of the company!

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