Walter F. stopped by late this morning to bring me an electric circuit voltage meter to use to test the power posts on the docks we encounter. Remember, he helped me last week when the power post we were using “died”. The dock master was here yesterday with electrical repairmen, but when Walter and I tested the outlets….they did not seem to be functioning properly. I will stay plugged in where I am for the time being. How very kind of him and so helpful. Thanks Walter.
Ice and grocery store errands were completed and then off I rode on my bike to the Herschel Carrousel Museum, where “once around is never enough”!
The Herschel Company began in 1872 making steam engines. In the early 19oo’s, Mr. Herschell designed the first steam driven carrousel. This was a ride and entertainment venue for ADULTS, not for children, as it was deemed too dangerous to ride. As we all know, that idea would soon be lost on the adults!! The exhibits showed the “band box” area where the Wurlitzer organ company made the music scrolls, such as ones for the player pianos, to create the music for the carrousels. There is a large inventory of what they call the master music rolls from which other smaller music rolls are made. Still in place and often with actual carvers on hand doing demonstrations, is the wood carving area where all of the horses and other animals were carved. All by hand from the blocks of wood. In the beginning Mr. Herschell wanted other animals, such as pigs, chickens, zebras, etc. carved for the rides. For some reason those critters were not chosen very frequently, as the patrons preferred to ride the “horses”! So by the mid 1920’s to early 1930’s, the exotics were no longer made and placed in the catalogues. Towns and cities would order the specific kinds of horses and animals and chariot styles to be made for their carrousel and once made , the carrousel was shipped via trains to their towns. This company also developed those small trains that many of us rode on as children in community parks and gathering places.
I was told that the side of the carrousel horse that you see as you climb onto the carrousel is called the ROMANCE side. These sides of the horses were carved more elaborately and were painted with jewels and brighter colors than what you will find on the opposite side of the carrousel horse. So this manufacturer was being prudent with his workers and the costs of construction to no doubt improve his profit margins. As time went on, the horses ears were carved differently. Initially the horses ears were always in an upright position . But soon they were being broken off as people would hang on to them or used them to help pull themselves up onto the horse. To prevent these broken ears and complaints from the customers, the horses ears were carved as flowing backwards in a more angry pose.
OK—– YOU KNEW THIS WAS COMING………I COULDN’T RESIST!!!!!
I have always wanted a carrousel horse, along with a carved cigar store Indian. I got the cigar Indian, thanks to friends, Hal and Sandy. Perhaps one day I will come across one of these beauties.
Tomorrow friends Jeff and Pat Francis , along with their granddaughter, Julianna, will drive up for lunch. Then in the evening will be another band concert here at the harbor. If the weather is good, I am thinking the Holler clan will also show up.
Hank will return on Thursday. We will regroup with sites and headings set for the Great Lakes!!