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Menagerie Carousel

Spillman Engineering built five of these Menagerie Carousels. The Oaks was the only one operating in its original installation site.

Also known as These were also called "Noah's Ark" as they had pairs of animals. This machine was delivered and installed at The Oaks in 1923 as a new machine. The animals are all hand carved. 

For many years, Ed Weizman maintained the two band organs and kept them playing to the delight of patrons.

In that era, animals were carved then set on shelves for future orders thus "new" animals could be 5 years older than the machine they were mounted on.

This machine has 2 rows of jumping and one row of  stationary animals mounted on a 2-tier platform.   An exception on this machine is the frog, there are four. The animals include: horses, roosters, frogs, pigs, dogs, cats, kangaroos, dragons, goats, giraffes, storks as well as chariots with small horses mounted in front of them.

The kangaroo, one of the rarest animals that Spillman carved. It is the only part of The Oaks that was on the historic registry. Another uncommon animal is the sea dragon.

Originally, this machine had a “brass ring”. If you grab the “winning brass ring” you got a free ride. Non-winning “brass rings” were thrown at a target. Due to increasing abuse by some of the patrons, the “brass ring” feature was removed. The horses had real horse hair tails; however, children loved to touch and pull them. Restoring the tails became too expensive so wooden replacements were carved (many by Miles McAlpine).

Around 1960, one horse was loaned to the Post Office for a display. An unknown person took this horse before it could be re-installed on the machine. Below is a picture of the mate to that horse.

High water has been a problem for the carousel four times.  Once, in 1956, it only covered the platform. During the 1948 and 1964 floods, the water rose to over one-half way up the animals.



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