Carousels worthy of the run-around

Detail from the 1908 Dentzel Carousel at the Please Touch Museum in Philadelphia

Traveling in circles? That’s not the goal in the air or out on the highway, of course, but it’s definitely a good thing when it comes to historical merry-go-rounds or carousels.

Here’s are a few cool carousels I found while putting together a slide show called “Perfecting the art of the spin,” for msn.

In addition to artifacts relating to the life and work of carousel manufacturer C.W. Parker, whose carousels—or, as he called them, “Carry-Us-Alls”—were featured in carnivals and parks around the world, the C.W. Parker Carousel Museum in Leavenworth, Kansas has three operating carousels: A 1913 Parker Carry-Us-All (with 24 horses, two rabbits, three ponies and a spinning “lover’s tub,” above); the 1950 Liberty Carousel with 20 aluminum horses; and the Primitive Carousel, made sometime between 1850 and 1860, a hand-cranked model with horse bodies made of hollowed out logs.

Kids Carousel at the C.W. Parker Carousel Museum

The 1905 Philadelphia Toboggan Company Carousel No. 6 – now the Kit Carson County Carousel in Burlington, Colo. – “is not the biggest or the most elaborate carousel, but it’s the only carousel in America that still has original paint on both the scenery panels and the animals,” said Jo Downey, project director for the Kit Carson County Carousel Association. “And at almost 12 mph, it goes 50 percent faster than the average carousel.” The carousel counts a lion, a tiger, a dog, a sea horse and two donkeys among its 46 animals.

Not dizzy yet? Take a look at the full “Perfecting the spin” slide-show featuring carousel museums and carousels in museums.

(All photos courtesy of the respective carousels)