Our 1913 Parker Carry-us-all #118 was purchased in 1997. Eight years later and after many dedicated hours of volunteer labor, it operated for the first time in April 2005. This could not have been accomplished without our wonderful volunteers!
|Brass Plate affixed to the center pole of #118 Parker Carousel built in 1913.|
The Fred Shew horse. The carousel was made for the Fred Shew carnival, operating primarily in Iowa. The breast plate has "Built especially for Fred Shew 1913" painted on it. The head of a hound is behind the saddle.
All of the horses and rabbits were in poor condition. The main colors that could be seen on the outside layer of paint, were black, white, red and green. Sometimes the inside of a horse still had original paint designs. As we stripped the old paint off the horses, the original colors were recorded and it was discovered to be mostly oranges, yellows, and greens. The original horse colors were gray dapple, brown, or black. Our group felt these colors would make a very dark and unattractive carousel. Therefore, we decided to make every other pair of animals on the machine white. The trapping colors would match the paired up animal, but would be bright and colorful. Alternating between the white animals would be dapples, blacks, grays, pintos and browns.
All of the horses and rabbits were stripped of the old paint, and completely disassembled. All of the nails, screws, bolts, strips of tin, and automotive body putty were removed. Any parts that were too badly damaged to repair were replaced and recarved in the Parker style. Then the figures were all reassembled using wood dowels and glue instead of nails. Shims and wood epoxy were used to fill cracks and holes.
Each figure was sanded for hours until "as slick as a baby's bottom". Then primer was applied and it was painted with Japan oil paint. A sealer was then sprayed on and then finished with a final coat of catalized lacquer.
Thousands of volunteer hours were spent restoring the horses and carousel.
Parker Carousel Photo Gallery