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Manufacturing Magic with Dana and Paula Morgan

Posted By Kristopher M. Rowberry, Friday, September 4, 2015

  

Manufacturing Magic with Dana and Paula Morgan - September 4, 2015


 

We’ve been working together on our “Lost Parks” TV series for nearly two years, and one of the most consistent questions we get is, “How do you find these people for your videos?”

While the exact procedure is a trade secret (here’s a hint, being nice to parks helps) it never ceases to amaze us how we’re able to track down and eventually put these people into our videos.

This past weekend, we found ourselves asking that same question – “How did we get these people for our documentary?!?” – as we had the privilege to visit Dana and Paula Morgan, formerly of D.H. Morgan Manufacturing.

While the company was originally created to build carousels (Dana could supervise both assembly and dis-assembly of Arrow’s portables at age 16), coaster fans are more likely to know Morgan for their superior hyper coasters, wooden coaster trains and their highly successful conversion of Steel Phantom into the Phantom’s Revenge at Kennywood Park.

After a fascinating tour of his home, which included several carousel horses - and some serious horsepower in the garage – we sat down with him in the office / study to begin the interview.

 

(Photo: Robert Ingle)

Hearing Dana talk about his father, Ed (who was one of the original four employees of Arrow), was incredibly fascinating. He warned us that every answer was going to be 20 minutes long – because it was so full of history that so very few know of.

Then, we went to the dining room table, where Dana and Paula had pulled many photo albums and articles relating to both Arrow and Morgan.

That’s where we had one of those moments you can only describe as ethereal. Dana said, “Oh – I bet you’ll like this…” and proceeded to hand us this set of ten small, black & white photos:

  

(Photo: Kris Rowberry)

These photos are the only known documentation of the first human tests on the Corkscrew prototype in Mountain View, CA.

And we were holding them in our hands. Woah.

The film will dive into the story of Corkscrew quite deep, so we don’t want to give away too much of the story. Suffice to say, it’ll be fun to learn for both seasoned coaster fans and even the “GP” viewer.

Dana and Paula also showed us one of their most-prized Arrow possessions: a gift from WED Enterprises commemorating 25 years of Arrow Development work in 1970. Not only does it look cool, but it is signed by such Disney legends as X Atencio and even Roy O. Disney himself.

 

(Photo: Robert Ingle)

Now, the “Legacy of Arrow” team moves onto the second half of production … putting all of the pieces together to tell the story of how the modern-day amusement and theme park was created – all from a small car garage in Mountain View, CA. Stay tuned!

- Kris Rowberry

  

L to R: Kimberly Mix, Nicholas Laschkewitsch, Dana Morgan, Paula Morgan, Robert Ingle, and Kris Rowberry. 
(Photo: Robert Ingle)


 Be sure to continue with us on the journey, as we aim to tell the story of an industry legend. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter or search "#LegacyOfArrow" on your favorite social media network!

Tags:  American Coaster Enthusiasts  Arrow  Arrow Development  Arrow Dynamics  D.H. Morgan Manufacturing  Dana Morgan  DH Morgan  Disney  Kimberly Mix  Kris Rowberry  La Selva Beach  Nicholas Laschkewitsch  Paula Morgan  Robert Ingle  The Legacy of Arrow Development  WED Enterprises 

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