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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.

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 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.

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

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