This Primitive Carousel, circa 1850-60, is owned by the National Carousel Association and is on permanent loan to the C.W.Parker Carousel Museum. It is the oldest operating wooden carousel in the United States. It last operated in a city park in Baltimore, MD. in 1920. It was purchased by the National Carousel Association from a Sands Point Preserve Museum in Long Island, NY in 1998. We do not know who built this carousel. The horses are made from a log hollowed out with a brace & bit & chisel. You can see the growth rings of the tree on the rump and chest. Each horse is made from 8 pieces of wood. There is no carving detail on the horses, any detail is painted on. The eyes are made of rivits, the ears are leather, and the mane and tails are real horsehair. All metal on the horses and mechanism is hand forged. Two men turned the carousel by hand cranks. It turns on a single ball bearing, at the base of the center pole. Museum personnel demonstrate the machine but no one is allowed to ride on it as
it is too old and fragile.