© 2015 The Berkshire Carousel Website design by KatyIllustrator
“This carousel is a labor of love.”
- Carousel Volunteer
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
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.
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 location, or
family who had an important family member that was involved with creation of our carousel in The
Berkshires painted by a talented Berkshire County artist.
The photos below show a few steps from the journey of creation from the drawing, to the painted
finished version which will ride the inner center column of our 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.
ADA Handicap Chariot
Spinning Tub Chariot
**In the works**