Focus Friday - Carousels

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Friday, Oct 1 2010 by

A carousel (from French carrousel, from Italian carosello), or merry-go-round, is an amusement ride consisting of a rotating circular platform with seats for riders. The “seats” are traditionally in the form of rows of wooden horses or other animals mounted on posts, many of which are moved up and down via gearwork to simulate galloping, to the accompaniment of looped circus music. This leads to one of the alternative names, the galloper. Other popular names are roundabout and flying horses. Both “carousel” and “merry-go-round” are used in North America while the latter is usually used elsewhere and “roundabout” is quite common in the United Kingdom.

The oldest existing carousel made in 1779 to 1780 stands in Germany at the Wilhelmsbad Park in Hanau.

World's oldest carousel (Google Maps)
World's oldest carousel

The world’s only two-row stationary carousel built from an original Dentzel blueprint left in existence, the Highland Park Dentzel Carousel and Shelter Building, is located in Highland Park in Meridian, Mississippi.

Highland Park Dentzel Carousel (StreetView)
Highland Park Dentzel Carousel

William Henry Dentzel III, built the world’s first solar-powered carousel. The carousel is in operation in the Solar Living Institute in Hopland, California.

World's first solar-powered carousel (Google Maps)
World's first solar-powered carousel

There is only one carousel in the world that rides in a waving motion – “Over the Jumps: The Arkansas Carousel” in Little Rock, Arkansas. It is also the only remaining wooden track carousel built by the Herschell & Spillman Company, and one of only four track carousels still in existence.

The Arkansas Carousel (StreetView)
The Arkansas Carousel

The carousel at Eldridge Park is one of the fastest in the world.

World's fastest carousel (Google Maps)
World's fastest carousel

The Richland Carrousel Park in Mansfield, Ohio is an indoor carousel in the downtown Historic Carrousel District that was completed in 1991. It is the first hand-carved indoor wooden carousel to be built and operated in the United States since the early 1930s

Richland Carrousel Park (StreetView)
Richland Carrousel Park

Sydney’s Darling Harbour Carousel is a New South Wales Heritage listed attraction. It is an example of an old Edwardian Carousel which are very rare nowadays. It is operated by a classic steam motor which has been retained. The Carousel dates back to the ‘Golden Age’ of Carousels between the 1890s to the 1920s.

Darling Harbour Carousel (Google Maps)
Darling Harbour Carousel

The Merry-Go-Round located at Tilden Park in Berkeley, California was built in 1911 by the Herschel-Spillman Company and is one of the few carousels from its day still in operation.

1911 Herschell-Spillman carousel (Birds Eye)
1911 Herschell-Spillman carousel

Columbia Carousel, located at Six Flags Great America and California’s Great America are the tallest carousel buildings in the world.

World's tallest carousel - Columbia Carousel (Bing Maps)
World's tallest carousel - Columbia Carousel