The Berkshire Carousel Creating a Legacy  

© 2014 The Berkshire Carousel       Photos © 2014 Katy Levesque / All rights reserved     Website design by KatyIllustrator
What is a Carousel? The carousel revolves around a stationary center pole made of metal or wood. An electric motor drives a small pulley that is controlled by a clutch for smooth starts. This pulley turns a drive belt and a larger pulley that turns a small-diameter, horizontal shaft. The end of the shaft is a pinion gear that turns a platform gear. The platform gear supports a vertical shaft that turns another pinion gear and final drive gear attached to the support beams of the carousel, called sweeps, which extend outward from the center pole like the ribs of an umbrella and support the platform, horses, and riders. The sweeps hold cranking rods that are turned by small gears at the inner ends that are driven by a stationary gear on the center pole. Horse hangers are suspended from the cranks, and as they turn, the horses move up and down about 30 times per minute. A typical carousel platform with horses and riders may weigh 10 tons and be driven by a 10-horsepower electric motor. After the motor's revolutions are reduced by the series of gears, outer row riders will move at about 5-11 miles per hour.

The Carousel 

What type of Carousel is it? Our carousel main frame is from a ride manufactured in 1928 in North Tonawanda, New York by The Herschell Company. Carousels and Carvings of Marion, Ohio has finished and restored the main frame and has created new rounding boards, panels and shields pictured in the photograph to the side. When the carousel is assembled and completed it will be similar in appearance and setup to the Northbay Heritage Carousel in Ontario in the photograph to the side. The Berkshire Carousel Frame  This is drawing of Carousel mechanism without the ponies on it. The Center Surround (the central column) at this time is being left open, but in the future with adequate funding, we will be able to add a circular or multi-sided wall with a mural or mirrors and paintings with lighting.
What is a rounding board? Our carousel main frame top is covered by rounding boards. There are a total of fourteen rounding boards on our carousel. Each rounding board will include a scanned digital image of a beautiful scene from The Berkshires of a canvas painting done by a talented Berkshire County artist. The photos show a few steps from the journey of creation from the drawing, the primed rounding board, painted and with the canvas attached finished version.
What is a mirror shield? Our carousel main frame top is covered by rounding boards in between each one there are a total of fourteen mirror shields on our carousel. The photos show a few steps from the journey of creation from the drawing, the primed mirror shields, the painted mirror and with the lights attached finished version.
What is a an inner panel board? Our carousel center column are the inner panel boards. There are a total of fourteen inner panel boards on our carousel. Each inner panel board will include a hand painted image of a family who had an important family that was involved with creation of our carousel in The Berkshires done by a talented Berkshire County artist. The photos show a few steps from the journey of creation from the drawing, to the painted finished version.
Elements of The Berkshire Carousel
What are chariots? Chariots are the benches for people who are unable to or prefer not to get on the horses. Chariots can be stationary with one or two rows of benches, rocking chariots with two benches facing each other, or a spinning tub in design. Newer carousels have a single bench that can lift up to accommodate a wheel chair. The Berkshire Carousel will have all of these style chariots on our layout. Below we have different stages of our ADA Handicap chariot and our rocking chariot: building, carving, sanding, priming, and painting. Our spinning tub is still in the creation phase at this time.

The Carousel

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Rocking Chariot
ADA Handicap Chariot