I thought that Flying Horses referred to the old style ride built before they had a rotating floor platform. The horses were suspended by chains.
Of course to confuse things more, there is a ride called "The Flying Horse Carousel" in Rhode Island that is build as I have described above. There is a "Flying HorseS" carousel in Martha's Vineyard that has a platform, but the horses do not appear to move up and down.
^You know, now that you say it that way, I think maybe that's what I was thinking of, not the "Derby Racer"-style of ride. I just remember researching a local park a few years back and finding a 1920s newspaper article that mentioned it had both a carousel and flying horses. I saw a photo from another source that looked like a Derby Racer, but maybe it was the chain-swing horses. Good call!
While I know he's not the end-all, be-all source for this kind of thing, I do remember Dick Knoebel being asked this question at a presentation and he did say that Carousel's were made up of all horses and Merry-Go-Rounds had a variation of animals.
Carousel: The most common of the many terms used to describe the classic amusement ride allowing people to ride carved wooden animals on a rotating platform. Other terms that have been used are Merry-go-round, roundabout, riding gallery, flying horses, and gallopers. The spelling of carousel has many options as well. Carousal, carrousel, carousell and several others have been used. There is no difference in the meaning of any of these terms.
In 1729, George Alexander Stevens wrote a poem where he talked about carousels. However, in his poem, he called them merry-go-rounds. The name stuck, and they have been fondly known by that name ever since.
A merry go round is the modern manafactured version that is electrically driven and features recorded music or no music at all. A true carousel is the genuine article that is steam powered and features live music from a carousel organ (or wurlitzer band organ for those in the us)
Heres one for ya.
A Carousel is a ride that features a motor and horses, a merry-go-round is a ride that features no motor, and no horses. Carousels go up and down, merry-go-rounds spin the riders off if pushed too fast. Carousel = amusement park, merry-go-round = playground, and Nick-O-Round = a butchered Antique Carousel at Carowinds.
^I love merry-go-rounds! I believe many were taken out because of liability issues, but one of my favorite parks in Portland has one, and I believe there are others around here.
As for the "horse/animal" ride, I appreciate that there are differences between what is technically a merry-go-round or a carousel, but I always have and always will use the terms interchangeably. I just think "merry-go-round" is too cute not to say.
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