Carousel in Paris, France A carousel (from French carrousel, native Italian carosello), or merry-go-round, is one amusement drive consisting that a rotating circular platform with seats for riders. The "seats" space traditionally in the kind of rows the wooden steeds or other animals an installed on posts, plenty of of i m sorry are relocated up and down via gearwork to simulate galloping, to the accompaniment that looped circus music. This leader to one of the alternate names, the galloper. Other famous names space roundabout and also flying horses. Carousels are typically populated with horses, however may include varied varieties that mounts,<1> favor pigs, zebras, tigers, supernatural creatures (such as dragons, sea monsters or unicorns), and also deer, to name a few. Sometimes, chair or bench-like seat are offered as well, and also occasionally mounts deserve to be shaped choose airplanes or cars.

Any rotating platform may also be dubbed a carousel. In a playground, a roundabout or merry-go-round is generally a simple, child-powered rotating platform through bars or handle to which children can cling while riding. In ~ an airport, rotating conveyors in the baggage case area room often dubbed carousels. Assorted photographic on slide projectors, notably those made by Kodak till 2004, used rotating trays or magazines called carousels to organize the slides and were frequently known together "carousel projectors".

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Australian racegoers gain a merry-go-round at the Deepwater Races, circa 1910

The earliest well-known depiction that a carousel is in a oriental bas-relief date to around 500 A.D., i beg your pardon depicts riders in baskets suspended indigenous a main pole. Words carousel originates from the Italian garosello and also Spanish carosella ("little battle"), used by crusaders to explain a combat preparation exercise and also game played by Turkish and Arabian horsemen in the 12th century. In a sense this early device could be thought about a mounties training mechanism; it prepared and also strengthened the riders for actual combat as they wielded your swords at the mock enemies. European Crusaders found this machine and carried the idea back to their very own lands. Carousel was likewise a training device for the ring-tilt, consist of of wooden horses suspended from eight branching native a main pole. Riders aimed to spear rings situated about the circumference as the carousel was moved by a man, horse, or mule.

Carousel was likewise the hatchet for large "horse ballet" or music Ride spectacles an installed as component of the court festivities for one-of-a-kind occasions such as royal weddings or state access time from the mid-16th century onwards, which progressively replaced severe jousting, return non-combat competitions such as the ring-tilt lasted until the 18th century. Lock were arisen in Italy, especially by the Medici Grand-Dukes in Florence, and the first French instance was in Paris in 1605. These commonly took location in squares or large courtyards, and also consisted that elaborately costumed riders and also horses (usually indigenous the cavalry) performing choreographed routines together as forming shapes together, talk in currently criss-cross versus each other. They regularly took ar at night, with riders carrying torches, and also were add by music. Native the 17th century huge decorated floats with allegorical figures were often included. The ar du Carrousel in Paris to be so called from 1662, when it was supplied for such a display screen by luigi XIV.

In 1620 the English traveller Peter Munday defined a carousel ride he witnessed in modern-day Bulgaria, then component of the footrest Empire. By the at an early stage 19th century carousels were being built and also operated at various fairs and gatherings in main Europe and also England. Because that example, by 1745 AD, wagon-maker Michael Dentzel had actually converted his wagon-making service in what is now southern Germany come a carousel-making enterprise. Animals and also mechanisms would be crafted during the winter months and also the family and also workers would go touring in their wagon train through the region, operating their huge menagerie carousel at assorted venues. Other devices such as Heyn in Germany and Bayol in France were also beginning to make carousels in ~ this time. In the own distinct style, England was likewise rapidly arising a carousel-making tradition.

A carousel at a fair in London, with traditional pet mounts, barley twisted poles and fairy lights.

Early carousels had actually no platforms: the pets would cave on poles or chains and also fly out from the centrifugal force of the turn mechanism; this are referred to as "flying horses" carousels. They were regularly powered by pets walking in a one or civilization pulling a rope or cranking. By the mid-19th century the platform carousel was arisen where the animals and also chariots would travel around in a circle sitting on a suspended circular floor which to be hanging indigenous the centre pole. The an initial known recorded vapor powered carousel was created by thomas Hurst and shown at Bolton (Lancashire, England) new Year same in 1861. Eventually, with the technical advances the the commercial revolution, bevel gears and also offset cranks were mounted on these platform carousels, thus giving the pets their famous up and also down motion as lock traveled roughly the center pole. The platform served as a position guide for the bottom the the pole and also as a ar for civilization to to walk or other stationary animals or chariots to it is in placed. Fairground organs (band organs) to be often existing (if not constructed in) once these equipments operated. Eventually electrical motors to be installed and electric lights added, providing the carousel its classic look.

Carousel built in 1905 by Gustave Dentzel i beg your pardon is still operational in Rochester, brand-new York

Although the carousel developed gradually in European countries such together Germany, France, England, and Italy, that did not reach its full scale development until it entered its American phase. This started with number of makers, mostly Gustav Dentzel, Michael Dentzel"s son, that Germany, and also Dare indigenous England. Michael Dentzel sent out all four of his sons end to America in the 1850s, one of them, Gustav, with a full and also complete big carousel packed far on the steamship. In beforehand 1860 Gustav collection up his family"s carousel in Philadelphia to check the American market. That met with an excellent success. At the same time he opened up up a carousel and cabinet workshop in Germantown. This eventually ended up being the headquarters for one of America"s biggest carousel-making families. Soon after this beginning other carousel makers from Europe began to come on American shores. Many fine woodcarvers and also painters, classically trained in their European homeland, functioned for these at an early stage American companies. The Dentzels, gift of German origin, likewise employed other Germans such as the Muller brother and also many Italians, such together Salvador Chernigliaro.

The very first carousel come be checked out in the United states was produced in Hessville, Ohio during the 1840s by Franz Wiesenhoffer. The first carousel patent was granted on July 25, 1871, to Willhelm Schneider of Davenport, IA. Number of centers and styles for the construction of carousels arised in the joined States, Philadelphia style, v Dentzel and the Philadelphia Toboggan Company, Coney Island format with Charles I. D. Looff, Charles Carmel, Marcus Charles Illions, Soloman Stein and also Harry Goldstein and Mangels, country Fair layout with Allan Herschell and Edward Spillman the Upstate new York, and Charles W. Parker of Kansas. Early on the Dentzels ended up being known for their beautiful horses and lavish usage of menagerie animals on your carousels. Your mechanisms were likewise considered amongst the really best because that durability and reliability. Gustav"s sons, William and Edward operated the company until William"s death in 1927 in ~ which time the company was auctioned off. By this time many carousel companies had gone out of company or diversified right into other rides due to the hardships the the depression. Young Edward Dentzel, that was operating carousels in southern California in ~ the time chose to stay there and become a luxury housing contractor in Beverly Hills; he eventually ended up being the mayor of the city in the early on 1950s.

Detail of carousel horse, Edinburgh.

Many carousel connoisseurs consider the golden e of the carousel to be at an early stage 20th century America. Very big machines were being built, elaborate animals, chariots, and also decorations were superbly make by professional old-world craftsmen taking benefit of their new freedoms in America. Big amounts that excellent and also cheap carving lumber were accessible such as Appalachian white pine, basswood, and also yellow poplar. Whereas many European carousel numbers are relatively static in posture, American figures are more representative of energetic beasts - tossed manes, expressive eyes and postures of motion are your hallmarks. The an initial carousel in ~ Coney Island, America"s an initial major amusement park, was constructed in 1876 through Charles I. D. Looff, a Danish woodcarver. The earliest functional carousel in Europe is in Prague (Letná Park). An additional style is a double-decker, where there is a vast carousel stacked on height of another. An example is the Columbia Carousel.

In the 1920s another detailed wood carver of equines for united state carousel"s was Frank Carretta that Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Each year he sculpted an estimated 200 horses.

wilhelm H. Dentzel of port Townsend, Washington is the only descendant native a founding American carousel family of the United claims still making wooden carousels. His carousels are similar to the earliest operating carousel in the United says in watch Hill, R.I. (1893) developed by the dare company, a "flying horses" machine. The power sources for Dentzel"s modern carousels variety from rope-pull come hand-crank to foot-pedal to AC 110 volt electrical to DC solar power.

In the USSR in the 1970s and also 1980s the carousel was not simply a journey of amusement parks, but likewise an integral part of the metropolitan culture. Many playgrounds, which exist in every yard, to be equipped with a standard flower-shaped carousel, made of metallic bars with six wooden seats attached come them.

Notable Crousels

A carousel in Bunkyo, Japan The Nunleys Carousel at Museum row in Garden City, NY


The carousel at Phantasialand in Germany is among the biggest in the world, make by reputation & Barbieri one historic amusement ride factory in Italy. The world"s only two-row stationary carousel developed from an initial Dentzel blueprint left in existence, the Highland Park Dentzel Carousel and also Shelter Building, is located in Highland Park in Meridian, Mississippi.In may 2005, william Henry Dentzel III, constructed the world"s very first solar-powered carousel. The carousel is in operation in the Solar living Institute in Hopland, California.The Crescent Park Looff Carousel in Riverside, Rhode Island was built in 1895 and still operates in its original location. The 61 horses, one camel, and four chariots have actually been revived and the drive renovated. Charles I. D. Looff supplied this carousel together a showpiece because that prospective customers. This is among the few carousels that attributes a ring-arm with steel rings and also a brass ring. The original A. Ruth " Sohn organ still dram music for the patrons.There is only one carousel in the people that rides in a waving motion - "Over the Jumps: The Arkansas Carousel" in small Rock, Arkansas. That is also the just remaining wooden track carousel built by the Herschell & Spillman Company, and one the only 4 track carousels tho in existence.The carousel in ~ Eldridge Park is just one of the fastest in the world.The carousel at Conneaut Lake Park in Conneaut Lake, Pennsylvania is the last T.M. Harton Carousel the is tho in operation and its Artizan band organ is just one of two recognized of the same design in the world.One that the carousels in Endicott, NY, West Endicott Park Carousel Binghamton, new York is considered the "Carousel resources of the World" due to the six original carousels in the Triple cities area, donated by George F. Johnson, owner of the Endicott-Johnson company early in the 20th century. These Carousels to be donated with the express stipulation the they would never charge join for anyone to ride them. Apparently once Mr. Johnson was a child he was typically too bad to ride the neighborhood carousel and he vowed this would certainly never occur to one more child in the area. The carousel in ~ the Ross park zoo in Binghamton, NY does fee admission, in a way, together it calls for the kid to drop one item of litter found in the park right into a trash barrel in order come ride. This is all created on a plaque at the entrance to the carousel.The earliest existing carousel make in 1779 come 1780 stand in Germany at the Wilhelmsbad Park in Hanau.


The carousel in Riverfront Park in Spokane, Washington is an initial Looff carousel developed in 1909 and installed at the Natatorium Park in Spokane.The Richland Carrousel Park in Mansfield, Ohio is an at home carousel in the downtown historic Carrousel district that was completed in 1991. The is the first hand-carved indoor wood carousel to it is in built and operated in the unified States because the at an early stage 1930s.Sydney"s Darling Harbour Carousel is a brand-new South Wales Heritage detailed attraction. That is an example of an old Edwardian Carousel i m sorry are an extremely rare nowadays. It is activate by a classic steam motor which has actually been retained. The Carousel dates earlier to the "Golden Age" of Carousels between the 1890s to the 1920s.Carousel in Bobbejaanland, Belgium The Merry-go-Round in ~ Kennywood Park was built by william H. Dentzel in 1926 and also is a National historic Landmark. The music top top this carousel is listed by a 1916 Wurlitzer band organ and over 1500 lamp decorate this ride. The carousel features 50 jumping and also 14 stationary horses, a splendid lion and also tiger, and Dentzel"s signature Jesters and Cherubs.

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Cafesjian"s Carousel was a mainstay at the Minnesota State fair from 1914 come 1988 once it was saved from the auction block by a non-profit team organized to save the landmark. The carousel is now situated in Como Park in Saint Paul, Minnesota.The Herschell Carrousel manufacturing facility Museum in phibìc Tonawanda, NY has actually two working carousels: The biggest is a 1916 design that is 40 feet in diameter, with 36 hand sculpted horses and over 580 lights. The second is a tiny aluminum carousel specifically designed for children. The museum is located in the building complicated which housed the Allan Herschell firm and is the just museum in the human being housed within an authentic carousel factory.The 2 double-decker Columbia Carousels built by opportunity Rides and also located at 6 Flags great America and Californi"s good America room the two tallest carousels in the world.The Merry-Go-Round located at Tilden Park in Berkeley, California was constructed in 1911 through the Herschel-Spillman agency and is among the few carousels from its work still in operation. In 1978 that was listed on the nationwide Register of historical Places.The King Arthur Carrousel existed due to the fact that 1932 and also was moved to Disneyland in 1954 that is one assembly of two carousels. Walt Disney want it to have four courses of all jumpers. The remaining chariot woodwork to be repurposed together the "Calliope" tenders of Casey Jr. Circus Train powered gravity coaster.Melbourne Zoo"s Carousel was developed in 1878 in England and imported come Australia in the 1880s by an ancestor that Dorrie Freeman. The Carousel travelled the show circuit till 1963 prior to it finally arrived in ~ Melbourne Zoo.The forest Park Carousel, located in the Woodhaven ar of the brand-new York City borough of Queens, was constructed by Daniel C. Muller and one of just two making it through Muller brothers carousels. That was detailed on the nationwide Register of historic Places in 2004.The Santa Monica Looff Hippodrome situated on the Santa Monica Pier in Santa Monica, California.The Merry-Go-Round in ~ Bear hill State Park features hand-painted scenes of the Park and also 42 hand-carved seats of native animals including black bear, wild turkey, deer, raccoon, skunk, canada goose, fox, swan, bobcat, rabbit, and more.The historical Santa Cruz beach Boardwalk Looff Carousel, is among the couple of carousels still in its original ar for more than 100 years. It is a "pure carousel" meaning all of the horses were noted by the same agency that developed the carousel. It is likewise one the the couple of with the rare combination of a functioning ring dispenser and also outside heat jumping horses. The carousel functions three tape organs consisting of a rare Ruth & Sohn 96-key organ with 342 pipes. The Looff carousel to be designated a national historic landmark in 1987.

Other Appearances

grand Carousel - emperors Island (1972-present) initially operated in ~ Coney Island, Cincinnati, Ohio (1926-1971)

Media References

In mar Poppins, Mary, Bert, and the kids ride a merry-go-round, then leave the carousel on their horses to walk off ~ above a fox hunt and a steed race. In Something angry This way Comes by ray Bradbury, the carnival"s carousel can cause riders to end up being younger or older depending on the direction in which they ride. Carousel (1945) was a Broadway music featuring hit songs such together "If i Loved You" and also "You"ll never ever Walk Alone". The protagonist, Billy Bigelow, is a carousel barker. In the dramatic orgasm scene that Alfred Hitchcock"s Strangers ~ above a Train (1951) the hero and the villain struggle on a carousel. David Carradine"s 1983 film Americana revolves around a Vietnam veteran"s obsession v the repair of an exit carousel.The 1930s new song, The Merry-Go-Round damaged Down, is the theme tune for the Looney Tunes collection of cartoons by Warner Bros.The classic children"s tv programme The Magic Roundabout uses a carousel together its main motif.


In the UK and also Europe, merry-go-rounds (as they are most often referred to in those countries) usually rotate clockwise, while in north America, carousels commonly go anti-clockwise (or "counter-clockwise") - looked on indigenous above. One mounts a real steed by lifting one"s appropriate leg over the animal"s back as it stands through its head in the direction of one"s left (the horse"s left side is called its "near" side). An in similar way for a carousel that turns anti-clockwise: one stands on the close to side that the equine to mount (towards the center of the carousel, no on its outer edge). One possible reason because that carousels in the USA transforming anti-clockwise might be so the the rider have the right to use their ideal hand to catch a brass ring.

For an ext Information:

A Brief history of the Carousel A tiny About Carousel background and terms C.W. Parker Carousel Museum Carousel TerminologyFlying horses Carousel historic Carousels 1964-65 new York World"s Fair nationwide Carousel association The oldest Carousel in the world HomeKids/Big youngsters Corner