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Friday, July 2, 2010

Perfect weather, wonderful zoo: Part two


Not only does the Columbus Zoo have an awesome collection of animals, but it also is the home of a restored 1914 Mangels-Illions Carousel. This carousel is built in the style of Coney Island carousels by the William F. Mangels Company. Mangels was a German immigrant who designed and built some of the most beautiful carousels in the United States, including the ones in Coney Island Amusement Park. In 1907, he patented a version of the overhead gears that controlled the up-and-down "galloping" motion of the horses. Mangels' design became the standard, and Mangels himself became a leader in the field. He employed the best wood carvers and mechanics, who often were immigrants themselves. Mangels also designed other amusement park fixtures, such as kiddie cars and The Whip.

Marcus Illions is recognized as one of the two greatest artists of the carousel world. His masterpiece horses have very flamboyant heads and fairly well decorated bodies. Illions carved all the heads for his horses himself. Illions first carved carousel horses in England and then carved for Charles Looff in Brooklyn. He formed his own company in Brooklyn, New York, in 1909, carving initially for Mangels and then for himself. Although Illions' three most spectacular carousels (known as the "Supreme" models) have all been broken up, a number of his other carousels still remain. Examples of these are at Agawam Amusement Park in Springfield, Massachusetts, and the Columbus Zoo.




The carousel at the Columbus Zoo was originally designed for and installed at the now-defunct Olentangy Park in Clintonville, an unincorporated neighborhood of Columbus. When the park closed, the carousel was moved to Wyandot Lake Amusement Park which was adjacent to the zoo. It operated there for sixty years. The amusement park had seen its better days and was torn down and replaced with Zoombezi Bay Water Resort and Jungle Jack's (Hanna) Landing Amusement Park, which opened last year. In 1998, the carousel underwent a million-dollar restoration and was moved onto zoo property. There it is enjoyed by children and adults alike.



The carousel has fifty-two hand-carved and painted horses, two chariots and a Stinson band organ playing all your favorite old-time merry-go-round and circus tunes.




Kaitlyn is enjoying her ride.





















                  So is her Grammy.




21 comments:

Sandy Nawrot said...

I love carousels, and turn into a kid again when I see them. I must ride them, much to the embarassment of my kids. They have one at Universal in the Seuss-land called the Caro-suessal that I have to hop on just about every time I go. Instead of horses they have those wacky Suess characters. You should e-mail the Bumbles and see if this post can be featured on UpTake Travel Website.

The Bumbles said...

Ah - good idea Sandy! Yes Susan - if you link to the page on UpTake for this zoo within your post, I can have them create a Travel Gem featuring your post. Send me an e-mail if you are interested.

As for merry-go-rounds, I am fond of the one on Martha's Vineyard as well as the one in Hartford. I have never been to the one you mention in Springfield though - will have to check that out! Your granddaughter's expression is classic for all kids hitching a ride on a carousel ;0)

California Girl said...

Wonderful shots of the carousel. My husband and I visited with a childhood friend of mine last week in Burlington, Vt. He was there on business. One of the days we were there was raining so we visited Shelburne Farm & Shelburne Museum, on a fabulous old estate on the banks of Lake Champlain. They have a beautiful carousel and my husband took photos but, so far, hasn't uploaded for me. aaaarrgghh! I'm sending your post to him to spur him on. :)

Snappy Di said...

Really pretty... they just don't make things that look like that anymore.

DI

Oliag said...

HaHa!...That looks just like me in the mirror:)

I just love a beautiful carousel...they aren't easy to to find these days and this is gorgeous! Lucky Kaitlyn:) What a fun day!
xo

culdesacchronicles said...

Carousels bring out the child in all of us. I didn't know any of this. Very interesting. I read it to my husband. Thank's for the info. and the beautiful photos. Brings back memories.

ds said...

I LOVE carousels; they are my absolute favorite amusement park ride. This one is stunning, so beautifully painted.
Looks like Kaitlyn and her Grammy had a perfect ride!

P.S. Do follow Sandy and Molly's advice--this is an excellent travel piece.

Deborah said...

I LOVE carousels! There are lots in France but it's been a while since I've been on one. Being big and all, and not having any little ones to go with me.

But because of this post, Susan, I'm going to go on the very next one I see, and will send you some long-distance vibes while I'm spinning.

stacybuckeye said...

I love carousels!! If we see one I always make Jason ride with me :)

Susan said...

Sandy, I think every adult turns into a kid again at the sight of a magnificent carousel! I know I feel that way, too.

Thank you for the recommendation! I'll ask Molly.

Caro-Seussal sounds terrific. Someday maybe we will be able to take all the grands there.

Susan said...

Molly, you lost me at "if you link"...link here, there, everywhere??? LOL

Kaitlyn bugged and bugged me to get on the carousel and of course the lines were just awful, but I relented. So as soon as she got on the horse, she was terrified because hers was so high! She's been on it a dozen times or more! You'd think she would be used to it by now. Kids! She had fun once it started moving.

Susan said...

Hi Cali Girl! I LOVE Burlington and the Shelburne Museum!! We've been twice, the first time on our 20th anniversary and the second about 6 years ago when we took my MIL to New England because she had never been. I'm gonna have to dig out my pictures, because I don't remember the carousel there. Has it always been there?

Susan said...

Thank you, Di! It is really large, too. It's hard to portray that in a photo.

Susan said...

Haha, Oliag! I thought the same thing when I saw it on the screen..."that looks like a picture I remember from a post Gail did"!! Isn't that funny?!!

Susan said...

Thank you, Bella, and for sticking with me...I've been extremely busy lately and haven't had time to catch up on all my peeps, but I will very soon...this week!

Susan said...

ds, somehow I knew you would love carousels! All that purple paint they used on this one reminds me of 'third-storey window'. Notice the self-portrait in the purple framed mirror? Ha!

The boys were on horses, too, but I had to stand by Kaitlyn and anyway, I featured them in the previous post.

Well, you girls twisted my arm...I guess I'll give UpTake a try.

Susan said...

Oh, Deborah! We must get together and ride a carousel. I'm tall, too, so we could look silly and have fun without being so self-conscious! Next time I'm in France...oh, wait, I've never been to France...but when I get there, we'll ride one! :)

Susan said...

OK, Stacy, I think it's about time you paid a visit to your mother and get to the zoo! Ride that carousel! You'll have to do it soon though...I don't think your doctor would approve of you riding a horse when you get too far along! :)

Ruth said...

Beautiful carousel, beautiful photos. Beautiful granddaughter and grandma. I haven't been on one as nice as this, and I don't remember when the last time was.

I always think of the final scene in Strangers on a Train when I see these, and that ain't great, I know. Maybe I should find a carousel soon to help me start new imaginings when I see one.

Susan said...

Thank you, Ruthie!

I've never seen that movie, and now I may not want to. I would hate to have my image of carousels forever tarnished!

VioletSky said...

Oh look, you did a carousel post as well! How did I miss this?
Your pictures are better than mine where it was a bit dark and cramped.
I will admit to not liking the merry-go-round as a child. It always made me feel dizzy and scared I'd fall off the horse.
I was a very wimpy child.