Two Beautiful, Vintage Carousels at the Museum Are Ready to Ride
1916 #1 Special
This historic carousel (above) is 40 feet in diameter, has 36 hand carved horses and over 580 lights. This carousel was one of the first machines the company shipped after it opened for business at the Thompson Street location in 1915. It rotates at approximately 6.5 revolutions per minute and was intended as a thrill ride for adults. The carousel is unique because it combines two completely different styles of horses. The large wild looking horses on the outer row of the machine are the “new and improved” 1916 Allan Herschell style. The two inner rows of horses are an older style dating from the late 1890s. A number of the wooden horses are currently undergoing restoration at the Museum.
A Wurlitzer military band organ plays the exciting sounds associated with a carousel ride.
Located in the Children’s Gallery is a small 1940s aluminum carousel. Called a “Kiddie Carousel” in the Allan Herschell Company catalog, it was created specifically for small children to ride without the need for adults to accompany them. The horses are child-size and the machine moves more slowly than a full sized carousel. The Kiddie Carousel has been completely restored and while adults cannot ride on the machine, it is a delight to the eyes.
Both carousels operate daily during the Museum’s open hours. We take great care to preserve them, as both are rare historical artifacts. Therefore, if maintenance is necessary, one or both carousels may be shut down for a short period of time. Paid admission to the Museum includes one free ride on either carousel; both carrousels are interactive museum exhibits and are not available without museum admission. Additional ride tokens may be purchased for 50¢. Small children under 43 inches in height may ride on the large 1916 carousel if they are accompanied by an adult. The Kiddie Carousel is restricted to children under 43 inches in height.