Carousel – Photo Wednesday

Mini-road trips are fun.
Carousel at the Seattle Waterfront. Photo © Andrée Fredette
After visiting the Seattle aquarium, next door, we wandered along the waterfront. At the foot of the big wheel, we discovered this  gorgeous old school carousel. It’s described like this: “…an original hand carved carousel from the early 20th century. It is one of the oldest working carousels in North America…”

Did you know that there were several styles of carousels in the US alone?

In the United States, the carousel industry was developed by immigrants, notably Gustav Dentzel of Germany and Dare from England, from the late 19th century. Several centers and styles for the construction of carousels emerged in the United States: Coney Island style – characterized by elaborate, and sometimes faux-jeweled, saddles – with Charles I. D. Looff; Philadelphia style – known for more realistically painted saddles – with Dentzel and the Philadelphia Toboggan Company; and Country Fair style – often with no saddles at all – with Allan Herschell and Edward Spillman of western New York, and Charles W. Parker of Kansas. The golden age of the carousel in America was the early 20th century, with large machines and elaborate animals, chariots, and decorations being built.

Here is a photo of a carousel horse, decorated in the Coney Island style, taken by Peter Greenberg:

Coney Island Style Carousel Horse, Photo by Peter Greenberg

Want to see more? Check out the slide show of the “Carousel of the Month, April 2015” (as chosen by the National Carousel Association), a 1902 Herschell-Spillman Carousel still in operation in Ocean City, Maryland. An outstanding menagerie of creatures, beautifully sculpted and painted.