About 6,000 wooden carousels were built in the United States between 1890 and 1930. About 180 remain; the rest have been abandoned, destroyed by fire or flood, or broken up and sold to collectors.
On Cafesjian’s Carousel, like many others, all the figures are horses. Other carousels feature menagerie figures such as cats, goats, rabbits, ostriches, pigs, giraffes, and deer. If the figures go up and down as the carousel turns, they are called jumpers. If they are bolted to the floor, they are standers. While European carousels rotate clockwise, American carousels turn counter-clockwise.
The words “Carousel” and “Merry-Go-Round” are interchangable. Early carousels were created in both England and France. The word carousel comes from the French, while merry-go-round seems to come from the English term “roundabout.”