© 2014 The Berkshire Carousel Photos © 2014 Katy Levesque / All rights reserved 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 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.
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