This is a book for all who enjoyed the experiences of watching, hearing, and riding the wooden carousel during the golden age of American amusement history -- and for those who continue to appreciate the carousel, or merry-go-round, as a very special element of the American cultural landscape. This book contains 107 black-and-white photographs and printed images. Carrie Papa invited thirty-seven 'insiders' -- people who lived behind the lights, music, magic, and fantasy of the antique wooden carousel to reveal the purposes, experiences, memories, and emotions of their involvement with this form of amusement and entertainment. The reader will hear the stories of manufacturers of carousels and the craftsmen who made them, owners and managers of amusement parks, carousel operators and support personnel, riders, and those who have studied, preserved, and revitalised carousels and preserved interest in them. These accounts provide windows onto the everyday life of participants in the industry -- onto the reality behind the nostalgia -- and document an important part of our national amusement heritage.
Carrie Papa lives, studies, and writes in Bridgewater, New Jersey. Her avid interest in people and their history began when she earned a degree in history from Rutgers University, but was cultivated during her thirty years of living in foreign countries with her husband who was on assignment with the US Diplomat Corps. When the Papas retired to New Jersey, Carrie became involved with the efforts of a local historical society to preserve a two-centuries-old one-room schoolhouse and establish a museum. While serving as founding director for the Old Monroe School Museum, Carrie received awards from the New Jersey Historical Society and the National Association for State and Local History for the museum's interpretative programs.