Origins of the magical ride

 In the 12th century, Arabian and Turkish horsemen played a game on horseback described as “carosella,” or a “little war.”

 Gustav Dentzel of Germany pioneered the modern carousel in America in the 1860s.


 The Flying Carousel in Oak Bluffs on Martha’s Vineyard, built in 1876, is the nation’s oldest platform carousel and has been designated by the US Department of the Interior as a national landmark. It originally operated on Coney Island and was moved to a red barn in Oak Bluffs in 1884.

 There were more than 4,000 built during the ride’s golden age in the early 1900s.

 About 150 intact carousels are estimated to exist today.

Get Today's Headlines in your inbox:
The day's top stories delivered every morning
Thank you for signing up! Sign up for more newsletters here

Sources: International Museum of Carousel Art, Martha’s Vineyard Preservation Trust

Loading comments...
Real journalists. Real journalism. Subscribe to The Boston Globe today.
We hope you've enjoyed your free articles.
Continue reading by subscribing to for just 99¢.
 Already a member? Log in Home
Subscriber Log In

We hope you've enjoyed your 5 free articles'

Stay informed with unlimited access to Boston’s trusted news source.

  • High-quality journalism from the region’s largest newsroom
  • Convenient access across all of your devices
  • Today’s Headlines daily newsletter
  • Subscriber-only access to exclusive offers, events, contests, eBooks, and more
  • Less than 25¢ a week
Marketing image of
Marketing image of