Getting There

About the Carousel


INDOriginal Paint
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Getting Involved

About the Band Organ

About America's


Alligator horse before restoration Original Paint Restoration

Because the horses on this carousel were ridden only a few days each year for the first 75 years of their lives, most are still in the original paint applied by Philadelphia Toboggan Company painter Gus Weiss in 1914. However, thick layers of varnish had turned dark brown over the years, and some horses had been touched up with gaudy paint that covered over the original painter's work. For example, the body of the horse shown here appears brown, as does the alligator on its side. Meanwhile, the blanket has been painted bright red.

Alligator horse after restoration Volunteers working under the supervision of restorer Linda C. McDonald painstakingly removed all of the varnish and non-original paint, revealing the original paint. McDonald then sealed the original paint with a barrier coat and "inpainted" to fill in scratches, marks and damaged areas, carefully matching the original colors. The horse here is restored to its original dapple gray, as are 66 other horses; the 68th horse is a pinto pony. The alligator and trappings on this horse, like trappings on many of the horses, feature gold and silver leaf and colorful glazes.

About 15 of the horses were damaged in a fire in 1939 and were entirely repainted that year. OFC workers were able to find traces of original paint and to repaint those horses in accordance with their original color schemes. Two patches were left to show the extent of burning, one on the side of a horse and one on a knee.

To see the painted horses close-up, visit the photo gallery.

Our Fair Carousel, Inc.,
not-for-profit owner and operator of Cafesjian's Carousel,
1245 Midway Parkway, St. Paul, Minnesota 55103