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Speculation / Original Research[edit]

Regarding the following paragraph:-

Within a given country, carousels are generally all built to rotate in the same direction, with the choice derived perhaps from the rules of the road of that country. In the U.S., traffic as seen from the sidewalk appears to travel from left to right; hence American carousels rotate counter-clockwise so that the view from outside is the same as that from the sidewalk. In Britain, it's the reverse in both cases. Another reason for the choice may be that the British felt it necessary to enable the rider to mount the wooden steeds in the "proper" fashion, inserting the left foot in the stirrup and swinging the right leg over and up onto the animal. The Americans, on the other hand, were more concerned with people being able to "grab the brass ring" while spinning round and round. Since most people are right-handed, the machine would have to travel in a counter-clockwise direction so that the right hand would be free to reach for the ring.

This sounds like original speculation. It is acceptable to include speculation from third-party sources, published independently if (a) They are a reputable authority on the subject (publication in a reputable source would back this up)and/or (b) Such speculation is demonstrably widespread or commonplace.

Unfortunately, this does not appear to be the case here. If I am mistaken, this needs to be demonstrated more clearly. Fourohfour 12:46, 9 November 2006 (UTC)

I'm new here, but the paragraph in question is neither original speculation nor original research. I don't have the book on me at the moment, but I believe the above passage has been plagiarized from Nina Fraley's introduction to Tobin Fraley's The Great American Carousel (San Francisco: Chronicle Books, 1994). In any case, Fraley, a carousel-craftsmen himself, and his bibliography should be included under "References." I've read Nina Fraley's introduction, and while she makes some intriguing claims about the carousel's international differences, it should be noted that the tone is nostalgic, bordering on the literary. --Pyropianist 08:07, 20 November 2006 (UTC)

It is indeed true that most British carousels rotate clockwise and most American ones anti-clockwise. It cannot be from the way we drive cars, because the carousel predates the American standard of driving automobiles on the right-hand side of the road. Perhaps the ring-gun (with the iron or brass ring to be grabbed) was an American invention and led to the anti-clockwise rotation.

- The Carousel at Centre Island, in Toronto Canada, runs clockwise. Canadians drive on the same side of the road as Americans, so I don't think it would have anyting to do with which side of the road people drive on.

The ring gun itself is dangerous, because one can smash one's hand on it when reaching for the ring. (Personal experience on the Looff carousel at the former Riverside Park, East Providence, RI, circa 1985.) Few if any ring guns remain in operation.

Snezzy 22:46, 14 February 2007 (UTC)

It cannot be from the way we drive cars, because the carousel predates the American standard of driving automobiles on the right-hand side of the road.

The American and Continental standard of driving on the right side of the road predates the automobile. There is an early silent film of a busy city intersection, in which the horses and buggies are driven on the right side of the road. Consequently I do not think the passage believed to be plagarized from Fraley's book can be dismissed as blatantly incorrect.

I'm french and we say as a common joke that the English rode horses on the left side to be able to fight more easily, since they used their swords with the right hand, so even if the purpose is totally wrong, the fact that we have that joke tends to indicate that these conventions predate automobiles. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:22, 1 September 2011 (UTC)

Tallest Carousel[edit]

The article states both Himmelskibet (at Tivoli in Copenhagen) and the Columbia carousels (in Gurnee, Illinois and in Santa Clara, California) to be tallest in the world. (The claims come from the carousels' respective websites.) It appears that Himmelskibet is 80 meters, while the Columbias are 100 ft, or about 30 meters, and thus shorter. Someone with more extensive or precise information might wish to correct the article.

Snezzy 22:46, 14 February 2007 (UTC)

The Tivoli carousel is not a traditional style carousel but it does seem qualify under the Webster's dictionary definition. (see pictures: [1]). The two Columbia carousels are the traditional style of carousel. I changed the caption regarding the Columbia carousel to refer to it as the tallest traditional carousel. --Cab88 16:18, 21 September 2007 (UTC)

Merry-go-round vs Carousel[edit]

In my experience, a merry-go-round is quite different from a carousel. A carousel has seats (usually horses) and is larger and powered mechanically or electronically by a separate operator. A merry-go-round is much smaller and, instead of seats, just has bars to hold onto. A merry-go-round is "powered" by a kid holding onto a bar and running around in a circle. These are very different. -Branddobbe

Different usage in different countries, I guess. Certainly those things in the playgrounds weren't called Merry-go-rounds in New Zealand, and the ride-on things with horses to sit on certainly weren't normally called Carousels either. Karora 21:36, 1 October 2007 (UTC)
My experience is that in much of the US, merry-go-round and carousel are used interchangably. Merry-go-round is probably more common in the US, with the ones that are set up at carnivals or at the midways of fairs more often referred to as merry-go-rounds, while permanent ones are more likely to be called carousels. I've only heard the kid-powered ones referred to as merry-go-rounds. The older kids can really get those going at a pretty high speed.--RLent (talk) 16:15, 8 January 2008 (UTC)

11:18, 26 March 2007 (UTC) It is quite different and I find it annoying that there isn't any information about the controversial removal of merry-go-rounds from many playgrounds. 12:12, 1 October 2007 (UTC)

On subject of country differences: the 'notable carousels'section list is 99% carousels in the US, and the article in general is very US centric. would be better if it were much more neutral, citing examples from across the world. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:56, 28 October 2012 (UTC)

External Links[edit]

Hi, just wondering why additional pictures and information were removed from external links? Is this of no value? Pictures and information about the carousel at Glen Echo Trolley Park, outside of Washington, D.C. on EastGhost Patriotick 02:44, 9 May 2007 (UTC)

Oldest Existing Carousel[edit]

The Trivia section states that the oldest existing carousel (circa 1907) is now in Japan, however, there is a Dentzell Carousel circa 1905 still running at Centreville Amusement Park on the Toronto Islands, in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Actually Montreal has a carousel that was built in 1885. It has now been restored and it currently runs at La Ronde. Check this out :

The steam museum at Bressingham, Norfolk, England has a carousel made in 1900 and decorated around the top with "Made by Norfolk craftsmen when Victoria was Queen". See George Buchanan


I won't venture to make any changes myself, but I think some of my detail photos of carousels are better than most used here, and perhaps one or more of them belong in the article. See especially Commons:Category:Golden Gate Park Carousel; also (not quite the same quality because of what camera I had available) Commons:Category:Woodland Park Zoo Carousel. - Jmabel | Talk 19:09, 8 August 2009 (UTC)

Roundabouts and waltzers[edit]

Other related words are roundabout and waltzer. Everybody got to be somewhere! (talk) 21:25, 27 March 2012 (UTC)


The article makes no mention of this. What's typical? Are there legal constraints in any countries and states? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:19, 7 May 2012 (UTC)

Why isn't the inventor mentioned here?[edit]

I notice that Herschel is mentioned, but it does not say he is the inventor. Why is this??? Everyone knows Herschel invented the carousel in North Tonawanda, New York. (talk) 09:35, 22 June 2014 (UTC)

Looped circus music?[edit]

I wonder about that. The classic carousels that I remember have something like an orchestrion, band organ or even a full blown calliope as accompaniment. Kortoso (talk)