Abreast - The way of describing the number of rows of animals on a carousel. Small portable carousels were often "2 abreast" having only 2 rows of animals.
Band Organ - Band organs provide the special music associated with the carousels. They are a self-playing pipe organ using a pinned cylinder, punched cardboard, or perforated paper rolls to play the notes. They often had drums, cymbals, and glockenspeil bars as well as many organ pipes. Usually placed in the center of the carousel, they would have fancy carved and painted facades.
Brass Ring - The "ring machine" is an arm suspended just outside the carousel that allows riders on the outer most animals to reach out and "spear" a ring with their finger as they pass. The arm releases one ring each time. While most rings would be metal and later plastic, a few rings would be brass, and could be exchanged for a free ride! "Catch the Brass Ring" refers to this activity. Few carousels have this feature now.
Center Pole - The stationary central column that supports the entire carousel. Earlier center poles are wood; steel was more commonly used for later carousels.
Chariot - Riding benches on the carousel were provided for those who did not want to ride on an animal. Most chariots have a carved facade facing outward and some were very elaborate and might be placed as to if drawn by the horses in front.
Coney Island Style - a carving style primarily represented/defined by the works of Illions, Carmel, Looff and Stein and Goldstein. The Coney Island style is associated with very fanciful or spirited horses/menagerie animals, many of which had wild, flowing manes and highly decorated trappings, often with flowers or jewels.
Country Fair Style - a carving style primarily represented/defined by the works of Dare, Armitage, Herschell, Spillman, and C.W. Parker. The Country Fair style is associated with smaller, very stylized horses that were intended to be transported from place to place and not installed on permanently-placed carousels.
Eccentrics - The steel shaft with offsets that goes back to the center pole where a gear on the shaft rides in a stationary ring gear on the center pole. As the carousel turns, the gears turn the shaft and the juming animals, suspended from the offsets, move up and down.
Jumper - describes a horse/figure that has all four feet off the carousel platform. Jumpers are normally the 'moving' horses on a carousel (either suspended from the overhead or attached to a mechanism from underneath). Another term sometimes used for a horse with all four feet off the platform is galloper.
Lead Horse - the 'number one' horse on a carousel. The lead horse is usually the most decorated one on the outside row, and sometimes carried the markings or initials of the manufacturer somewhere in its trappings.
Menagerie - The term to describe carousel animals other than horses. A "menagerie machine" would indicate at least some of the animals were not horses.
Mud Sills - Large wooden beams that form a cross under the center pole. These beams, along with large diagonal braces, support the center pole and bare the entire weight of the carousel and its riders.
Outside Row - The outermost ring of any carousel contains the largest and most decorated figures. This was because the outside row is the one most easily seen by spectators - so the horses intended for the outside row were the ones most heavily decorated. Middle- and inside-row horses rarely show all the beautiful carving detail that an outside-row horse carries.
Philadelphia Style - a carving style primarily represented/defined by the works of Dentzel, Muller, and the Philadelphia Toboggan Company (PTC). The Philadelphia style is associated with very realistic-looking horses/animals, who normally were carved with very lifelike poses and expressions.
Pony Hanger - The pole that each jumping animal is mounted on and that connects to the offsets on the eccentric. The pole is usually covered by a polished brass sleeve. This is the standard pole that you think of that is sticking through the middle of a carousel horse.
Prancer - describes a carousel horse/animal that has the two back feet on the platform, and two front feet in the air. Prancers would most often be found on the outside row of a carousel, though they were not as common as the jumpers or standers.
Romance Side - The most highly-decorated side of a carousel horse. Most carousel horses, especially outside-row horses, carried much more decoration on the side of the horse that was going to be seen by the public than on the side that faced towards the center of the carousel. On American carousels, the Romance Side is on the right side of the horse - on English carousels, it is on the left. The reason for this is the difference in rotation direction between American and English carousels.
Rounding Boards - The outermost scenery panels, located above the outside of the floor. Often adorned with carvings, mirrors, paintings and lights, the panels are curved to give the carousel its round appearance. Carousels that were designed to fit into buildings often did not have rounding boards.
Stander - This indicates that the animal has two or more legs on the carousel floor and does not move up and down.
Stargazer - describes a head position where the nose is pointing skyward - towards the stars.
Sweep - Radial wood beams that come outward from the center pole above the animals. These beams are supported by rods to the upper part of the center pole. The floor, animals, lights, scenery and rounding boards are all supported from these beams. An indication of the size of the carousel is the number of sweeps. Typical numbers are from 16 to 20 sweeps.
Trappings - The carvers adorned the animals with fancy saddles, jewels, tassels, and any number of special carved additions called trappings. The trappings would set the theme for any particular animal and were most elaborate on the outside row of anumals and the side of the animals facing outward.
Trolley Park - A large number of the early amusement parks were built by the street car and trolley companies. Called trolley parks, they were often located at the end of one of their lines. This was a way to encourage evening and weekend business. Early advertisements for carousel manufacturers were common in the street car trade magazines.