Over more than half a century, Pretzel installed an astounding number of rides and was represented in virtually every existing park in America. And they were not limited to permanent amusement parks; there was a thriving stream of portable rides afoot
in the carnival and fair industries.
Left: Pretzel flat portable tent ride. Specified at under 9 tons, this ride was carried on one 28' semi. Equipped with full-panel decorated front, platforms, five cars and "Laugh producers".
Right: Portable two-story ride mounted on 40' X 8' tandem trailer. Opened out to a 70' X 30' space.
Left: Pretzel at the 1950 Canadian National Exposition; rode 10,000 people in a single day. Legendary showman J.W. (Patty) Conklin put up the buildings for the Pretzel and a skooter next to it. Pretzel outgrossed all other rides, including the coaster. The ride's name? Laff In The Dark.

Right: The popular Pretzel "Laff In The Dark" at the Pike in California. Building design is virtually identical to the CNE ride above. It appeared in movies and TV shows, with the further notoriety of having housed the remains of real-life outlaw Elmer McCurdy. It is fondly remembered by many Long Beach residents.

For its first three decades, the Pretzel was known as a single-level ride. That began to change in the late fifties when Pretzel developed the "Double Decker", a two-level ride in which the cars were hoisted to the second story by a lift chain. Mr. Cassidy told us that his father, Leon, was not at all in favor of the two-story ride concept, always viewing the Pretzel as a flat ride.

First double-decker installed on Fitzgerald's Casino Pier, Seaside Heights, NJ in 1959. The pier's miniature train ride passes under and through the ride's left side.
"I built the building and the whole thing.
I ran it on percentage for eight years. That was a double-decker. It was the first one we put in. I took that one out of there and moved it down the boardwalk after we got done with the contract with them in eight years. Then they bought the new one from me, the Haunted House."