Along with galloping horses, some early carousels had animals that rocked back and forth. Others used a grasshopper escapement (which utilizes a coiled spring or weight to transfer energy) attached to the platform behind each figure, causing them to bounce forward. One carousel actually titled at a 10-degree angle to simulate increased speed. In Little Rock, Ark., the still-operating Over the Jumps carousel uses an undulating wooden track—rather than gear-driven poles—to create that up-and–down sensation.
With the onset of the Industrial Revolution, steam power came to the carousel, and the ride jetted into its golden age. Typically, the portable steam engine was mounted to the ride's central pole, and the steam exited out of the carousel's canopy top. A few of these carousels are still around today, including Sydney's Darling Harbour Carousel and the large, two-story carousel at Phantasialand in Bruhl, Germany.
Electricity, safer and more practical than steam power, became the standard by the later 20th century. The electric motor provides energy for both the platform—which features rollers that work like large ball bearings and allow it to turn-and the gear-driven horses, so the entire ride rotates together seamlessly.
To be continued……