Lewis Henry Garbrick operated a dairy in his hometown of Centre Hall, Pennsylvania. This dairy, called Garbrick & Son Dairy, closed in 1937. Garbrick left the dairy business to start a new manufacturing company called Garbrick Manufacturing Company. This company would go on to be best known as Garbrick Rides.
Garbrick’s son, Lewis Ardell Gabrick, worked for the new manufacturing company as a teenager. When World War II began, the Garbrick company manufactured parts for the war effort. In December 1943, the younger Lewis enrolled in the US Navy. He ended up serving on the USS Courage PG-70, which was assigned to patrol the western Atlantic Ocean, escorting convoys from anywhere between Greenland and Argentina. The ship was stationed in Iceland at the time World War II ended.
When he returned back to Centre Hall from his service, he and his father decided to make amusement rides. By 1949, their rides were being promoted at local fairs under the Garbrick Rides name.
They manufactured a few rides, including a 32-foot and a 43-foot Ferris wheel. In 1954, they introduced their Flying Saucer ride, similar to a Hrubetz Paratrooper. Between 1956 and 1960, they added a ride called the Merry Mixer, which was a 4-armed Scrambler ride, similar to the 3-armed Eli Bridge Scrambler rides.
Knoebels operates a Garbrick Rides Scrambler, called Merry Mixer, as of the 2020 season.
Garbrick Rides got out of the ride manufacturing business in the 1980s, however, they continue to tour the rides they have manufactured around the Central Pennsylvania region, including the popular Grange Fair, which they have participated in since 1955.
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