In 1986, Art Ritchie and Dan Jones recognized a growing need to help restore and preserve one of America’s valuable treasures which was a tribute to craftsmanship and mass production: the art of making wooden carousels. Carousels became a symbol of prosperity for many parks and communities during the early 1900’s and many still remain today in various states of disrepair. With a resurging interest in providing America with a piece of the past, Art and Dan formed The Carousel Works. Backed by more than a decade each of carving and restoration experience, it provided them the recourses in the areas of structure and design needed to manufacture carousels.
Carousel Works was formed with one goal - to build new wooden carousels. To accomplish this, restoration of existing antique carousels was needed to provide a base for establishing a good relationship with the carousel community while learning engineering theories which the original carousel manufactures had perfected. With expertise in carving, woodworking, pattern making, casting, engineering, machine shop techniques, artistic painting and management under one roof, we have developed into the type of manufacturing facility that hasn’t existed for over 50 years.
Carousel Works accomplished their goal of building new wooden carousels in 1991 with the carousel at the Richland Carrousel Park in Mansfield, OH. Since then we have created over 30 innovation wooden carousels that can be found in locations all over America
At present, Carousel Works is the only company in the world with the in-house capability to manufacture wooden carousels from design to installation. With current trends escalating prices of antique carousels over $1,000,000 the Carousel Works, Inc. wants to offer every community national and international, the chance to have a quality, rich, hand carved wooden carousel at an affordable price.
Why A Carousel ? Quite simply, a carousel is an attraction which captures the attention of people through light, motion and sound - a people magnet. Located at the end of trolleylines, carousels of the early 1900's attracted families to come and see what amusement parks had to offer for the enjoyment of the family. This philosophy of attracting families is still used today to help increase traffic flow through parks and malls.
Much of the design and construction of a carousel is used to help capture a person's attention. Children often hear the music which draws them to the motion of moving animals and whirling lights. Painted panels of local scenes, both historical and present, help to conjure images of beauty to elderly citizens who remember the age of the grand carousels. Finally, mothers and fathers of children come to share in the joy that is felt by everyone, both young and old. The carousel is an attraction that is family orientated and can be shared by all who come to experience the fun of fiery steeds and majestic beasts.
Prosperity and pride often grow for a community from the magic of a carousel. Increased traffic through areas surrounding a carousel can help increase interest and revenues for local businesses. Community involvement through special events, which include the carousel as a focal point, help the community to have pride in itself and helps to radiate that pride out to other areas. Such building of community pride can lead to forming a kind of heritage that can tie the glories of the past and dreams of the future together.
The Carousel Works, Inc. believes in strong family values and pride in providing quality craftsmanship through the elegance of hand-carved wooden figures. Each carousel manufactured by The Carousel Works is truly a one-of-a-kind work of art, each design reflecting the customer's request. The warmth of wood and the richness of deep carvings exemplifies the magical quality which always captures and retains people's affections to a Carousel Work's carousel. Grand elegance similar to the wondrous antique machines of the past with an affordable price - this is what The Carousel Works can offer.