This article is simply borne out of the curiosity of a phrase and the research is worth sharing as its origins, local San Diego flavor and relevance to our professional and personal lives. To the customers of Q Applied Systems, friends and others who stumble across this article I hope it’s worth the time it takes to read. If so then I will have grabbed another brass ring!
The Brass Ring and the Carousel
References to a literal brass ring go back to the 1890s, as found in the Brooklyn Daily Eagle of September 1899 about the famous Coney Island amusement park carousel. “Reaching for the brass ring” is a phrase originating in the late 19th and early 20th century when carousels were popular in US amusement parks and boardwalks. Carousel riders on the outer horses would grab for rings on a mechanical arm. Most rings were steel with no value however one ring was the prized “Brass Ring”. The rider who grabbed the brass ring won a prize – usually a free carousel ride. Derived from this children’s game it’s something that most of us strive for in our personal and professional lives.
Brass Ring Rewards
The Brass ring came to have the figurative sense of a prize, in particular one that was hard to gain. Grabbing the brass ring, going for the brass ring or reaching for the brass ring were all used to refer to the opportunity to compete for a grand prize. The Brass Ring means striving for the highest prize, or living life to the fullest.
The Brass Ring concept is simple just not easy and can be very elusive. Just like the children’s version on the carousel; all those who dare to challenge themselves to play the game have a chance but only one will grab the ring per ride. It’s a learning experience that will carry through life. Getting your hands on (literally and/or figuratively) your “Brass Ring” can be exceedingly rewarding like starting your own business!
Watch this short video of the Brass Ring game:
The price paid as adults to grab the brass ring can come at such an expense that what most actually end up with is a steel ring worth nothing. The lesson for adults is to reach for your brass rings with the passion of a child. Should you fall simply try again.
What is Your Brass Ring
For some, the brass ring may be starting your own business, for others it might be getting married and starting a family and others still it might be pursuing a raise, a promotion, a bigger house, a bigger car, etc… the list is endless. At the end of the day your brass ring goal is yours alone and while the goal itself may not look very exclusive (buying a car for example) the path taken to get there is unique and exclusive to the one in pursuit.
Whatever your brass ring, you are encouraged to pursue and fail (grab a steel ring) than to never try at all. Remember, if you’re not failing at something you’re not trying as hard as you could be. So, roll up your sleeves and reach for your brass ring!
About Q Applied Systems
Q Applied Systems is a manufacturers’ representative of HVAC and moisture control equipment and systems as well as fume and dust collection products throughout Southern California and Baja Mexico. We specialize in the application of engineered systems and equipment for commercial and industrial markets. To learn more about our services, capabilities or to discuss your project or application call (858.435.2236) or through our contact page.