What is more magical than the musical roundabout? The carousel has given joy to children for hundreds of years. The New England Carousel Museum [95 Riverside Ave, Bristol, CT 06010] tells the history of over 100 years of the nostalgic ride.
The Byzantines record the first of its kind, with riders swinging in baskets. In the 1600s a mechanical carousel was used to train knights. The golden age of carousels was the late 1800s, on account of the steam engine. Craftsmanship blossomed in this period.
It is amazing to see how technique developed in the height of this time.
The museum walks you through a workstation displaying the anatomy of the characters, which are not all carved from one piece of wood.
Carousels are true works of art – each horse, or other animal, comes hand crafted in a unique style.
Popular designs are the Coney Island style – with its dramatic flair and the whimsical Philadelphia style.
Within the museum there is a working carousel, don’t forget to take a ride on the merry-go-round!
Good to know:
+In the same town as the American Clock and Watch Museum
+You can have your wedding at the museum
+The Museum of Fire History is in the same parking lot
+Nearby, the Bushnell Park Carousel is run by the museum