The history of the carousel and
intriguing descriptions of the diverse machines, such as the
'Two-story' carousel, 'Rolling Ship', 'Scenic Railway', 'Airplane'
and 'Oscillating' carousels, into which the basic idea, once
mechanised, proliferated, are only a part of A Pictorial History of
the Carousel. The author also devotes chapters to the carvers and
manufacturers whose inventive genius made the carousel one of the
most colourful and popular of social entertainments. There is a
chapter, too, which describes the history and development of the
band organ, whose brassy melodies are inseparable from the carousel.
The art of carousel carving embraced
not only the horses, whales, dogs, dragons, and more extravagant
hybrids of the platform menagerie, but also the elaborate trimmings
and facades of the carousel. Some of the carved horses and other
animals, ranging from placid and bovine, to frenzied, contorted, and
even malevolent creations, are not only authentic Americana, but
genuine folk-art, worthy of respect and preservation.
Over 350 illustrations accompany
the text, among them reproductions of watercolours, pen drawings,
coloured lithographs, daguerreotypes, and catalogues of German,
English and American carousel manufacturers. Many of the photographs
of fin de siecle carousels are themselves decades old. A Pictorial
History of the Carousel is a book for those interested in art,
antiques, and a rich but often overlooked vein of history.
Condition: Fine in dust jacket with fine front
and spine, but worn at the edges and torn in rear.