Whether you call it a merry-go-round, carousel, or whirlgig, visitors have always been enchanted with the Boardwalk's oldest ride. At the grand opening of the "hippodrome," as the carousel and its building were called, one hundred rocking chairs were provided so that mothers could sit comfortably to enjoy the music and watch their children ride the brilliant new horses.
Preservation of the carousel is labor of love. Boardwalk artists repair and repaint the horses during the off-season.
The Boardwalk's carousel was named a National Historic Monument in 1987.
Charles I.D. Looff began building carousels in 1880. By 1911, when he delivered the Boardwalk's shining new carousel, Looff was well known for his work and it had made him wealthy. His son Arthur built the Boardwalk's Giant Dipper roller coaster.
The Brass Ring
This carousel has one of the few remaining ring dispensers in the country. Rings once fed manually into the metal arm by a "ring boy". The process was mechanized in 1950. The Boardwalk goes through more than 70,000 steel rings each year. Brass rings are still used on special occasions.
All 73 were originally produced by Looff's company.
Each horse has a real horsehair tail.
The 71 "jumpers" move up and down, the two "standers" are stationary.
The chariots ensured that ladies of the early 1900s could be modest and safe when the rode the carousel.