New York Carousels (page 5)

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Recreation Park
Binghamton, NY
There are six Herschell carousels in the Binghamton area (which calls itself the Carousel Capital of the World). The carousel horses are all of the "country fair" style (with short legs drawn tightly to the body, oversized heads with glass eyes and round dish saddles). This collection was donated by George F. Johnson who grew up poor but went on to become a wealthy shoe manufacturer. Deprived as a child, he insisted that admission to the carousels be one piece of litter (the tradition continues today). For more info, see this website.

The Recreation Park Carousel was shut down temporarily when I was there because of a thunderstorm. So, without electricity, these photos are not as nice as they could be. Evidently, the City does not allow them to operate when lightning might strike the tall metal rod above the carousel. This carousel was installed in 1925 and has four rows of 60 jumping horses, 2 chariots and a Wurlitzer Military Band Organ. It was restored in 1990.

C. Fred Johnson Park
Johnson City, NY
The C. Fred Johnson Park Carousel was installed in 1923 and is the largest of the six. It features 4 rows of 72 horses, no chariots. The organ was lost in the floods of 1935-1936. The painted panel scenes are restored originals.

George W. Johnson Park
Endicott, NY
The George W. Johnson Park Carousel was installed here in 1934. There are three rows of 36 horses and two chariots. In 1999, it was restored and this protective glass carousel house was built. Prior to that, it was exposed to the elements with just a roof and the horses were put in storage for the off-season.

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