Where Have the Carousel Animals Gone?

A hundred years ago, there were thousands of carousels in operation in the U.S. Today, there are fewer than 150 of those old carousels featuring hand-carved wooden horses. Those horses (and other animals) are works of art, and the more modern factory-made fiberglass carousel steeds cannot compare. But even in the carousel's golden age, there were two tiers of quality: the exquisite artworks that were made for permanent installation in parks, and the plainer horses designed for traveling carnivals. Collectors Weekly tells the history of carousel horses, from the development of the ride through the immigration of master woodcarvers to America to modern preservation and restoration efforts. Link

(Image credit: © Aaron Shepard, via The National Carousel Foundation)


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Great article, but no mention of the Merry Go Round at Bear Mountain Park? While not an antique, it's one of the few more recent merry go rounds which are done the old way, with hand carved animals (most are native animals, but yes, there are horses as well), as well as hand painted sounding boards of early Hudson Valley history. While the music is recorded, it was taken from an 1926 Wurlitzer pipe band organ.
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