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Horsing Around On A Carousel In Bristol


Nestled in the heart of Bristol Connecticut is an amazing museum where young and the young at heart can learn all about the artistry, craft and history of Carousels, especially the Carousel horses. It’s the New England Carousel Museum and it’s worth the trip!

Our guide was a young man named Andrew and with expert skill he entertained the crowd with tales of the artists and the types or styles of Carousel horse making (did you know there’s a difference between the Philadelphia style and the Coney Island Style?) The museum restores Carousel horses with loving care and it is not uncommon to see a work in progress (behind glass I’m sure).

And there weren’t just horses, oh no! There’s giraffes, lions, an entire menagerie to stir the imagination!
Of particular fascination for me learning about how carousels were used and looked upon in the past. Did you know they used to be mainly for adults who looked upon the ride the way we now look at roller coasters? And now I learned where the term “grabbing the brass ring” comes from (which reminds me, speaking of Brass, we’re due to travel to Waterbury, the Brass City soon-but that will be another adventure!)

As an added bonus, there’s even more to the museum when you’re inside. There’s a Bristol Fire Fighter Museum and there’s also a Hellenic Museum exhibit on the second floor. Both of these might deserve a separate cartoon at some point in the future!
Finally, there’s a happy surprise at the end of the Carousel museum tour for the young children but we’re not going to spoil that here!

If you love carousels, if you love learning about history, if you love learning about the woodworking art that goes into creating the horses, then we encourage you to travel to Bristol, Connecticut and enjoy the museum too!


  1. Home Place
    Posted July 17, 2013 at 9:46 pm | Permalink

    This looks like such a fun trip!

    I love, love, love carousels and I used to ride and ride the one in Watch Hill RI – where I learned all about the “brass ring”!

  2. Posted July 18, 2013 at 6:47 pm | Permalink

    That’s awesome, Bonnie! During the tour they talked about a carousel in Rhode Island that went faster than others now. Maybe that was it!