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Carousels Merry-Go-Round
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Welcome to Carousels.
Art of the Carousel
The fanciful carousel has charmed people of all ages and of all lands, but it reached its most outstanding success and beauty through the talent and creativity of American craftsmen. In the late nineteenth century, during an energetic period of cultural self-discovery, American artists, architects and sculptors broke from European tradition to seek their own direction and freedom of expression. This artistic Renaissance resulted in carousel sculptures of such quality and originality that, today, they are an important and respected American art form. Take a whirl on a carousel. Observe, appreciate, and treasure the unique magic and artistic splendor of this wondrous ride.


A carousel is sometimes called a merry-go-round. Is an amusement ride. And has 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 by gears to simulate galloping, to the accompaniment of looped circus music. The golden age of the carousel in America was the early 20th century, with large machines and elaborate animals, chariots, and decorations being built.

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Carousels In America


The story of the carousel, or merry-go-round, in America traces back to the mid-19th century when Gustav Dentzel, a German immigrant, opened the G.A. Dentzel Steam and Horsepower Carousel Company. During this time, carousels were considered the premier amusement ride.  While more than 7,000 carousels were once created, fewer than 300 are still in use that were built in American factories.  The Depression, fires, floods and neglect caused the deterioration of the magnificent machines.

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The golden age of the carousel

The golden age of the carousel lasted twenty five years.  It originated in Europe, but America is where its highest achievement of craftsmanship developed.  Carved and created by immigrant craftsmen at their highest level.  California and New York have most of all existing carousels in America.  The only two that exist in Tennessee that I know of are: