Tracing the Roots of the Carousel
Back in the 1100’s, Arabian and Turkish horsemen played a game on horseback. They took it very seriously… so seriously that Italian and Spanish crusaders who watched described the contest as a “little war” or Garosello and Carosella respectively. Click Right Here ~ to see the 15th-century Turkish drawing that shows part of the carousel's use as a way to practice your cavalry riding skills.
The All Hallows Guild Carousel
The All Hallows Guild Carousel is a rare all wood carousel likely built in the 1890's by the Merry-Go-Round Company of Cincinnati and has a rare Caliola (a rare fairground organ) with brass pipes that was built by the Rudolph Wurlitzer Company of North Tonawanda, New York in 1937.
The original operator, Clifford Sandretzky, sold the carousel to the All Hallows Guild of the National Cathedral in 1963 who has owned it since. Before catching a glimpse of this famous carousel, visitors hear the 1937 music of the Caliola. More recently, the carousel has been assembled and used only once a year at the Guild's Spring Flower Show.
There are 24 animal figures on the carousel plus two chariots. The animals are formed into 12 pairs. The animals include a single lion, zebra, and elephant, pairs of goats, camels, and deer, four standing horses, and nine jumping horses. They are brightly painted and hand-carved in the European tradition.
Carousel Gallery Exhibit
The jaunty tunes of calliope music, the smell of popcorn and the nostalgia of a bygone era will fill the Gallery at 48 Natoma during the next gallery exhibit, “Carousel.”
The Gallery at 48 Natoma will grab the brass ring with spectacular photography of carousels from throughout the world by Jim Berger and fantastic carousel horse sculptures by Thelma White. An interesting selection of carousel artifacts will also be included. The exhibit runs through July 1.
The Oldest Carousel
In the 1870s, when the Flying Horses Carousel was designed, summer recreation in America was expanding. At its peak, Coney Island, the most famous of the country’s amusement parks, had 25 carousels in operation – including the Flying Horses Carousel.
The carousel was acquired by Vineyard Trust in 1986. The horses are not attached to the floor but are suspended from above. Carved wooden horses with real horses main and tails and glass inset for eyes. When the platform turns, the horses (and their passengers) swing out. Originally, an actual horse powered the carousel.
The Carousel @ The House on the Rock
One of the strangest rooms in the House on the Rock is the "Carousel Room." "The House On The Rock Carousel" (the worlds largest indoor carousel) features 269 carousel animals, (none are the traditional horses), and many are mythological creatures. There are 182 chandeliers, over 20,000 lights and hundreds of mannequin angels hanging from the ceiling.
The carousel spins nonstop throughout the House on the Rock’s hours of operation. Click on the link to learn more about the story of "The House On The Rock." This massive attraction covers 2.5 miles and takes 3-5 hours to explore. Unfortunately, you cannot ride the House On The Rock Carousel.