P. Marlin May 2014
The largest merry-go-round in North America, Liberty (PTC #46), was built by the Philadelphia Toboggan Company in 1917 for the Belle Isle Park in Detroit. The Liberty was elaborately decorated in red, white and blue with shields, eagles, flags, Miss Liberty, Roman chariots, extravagant sleighs, prancing horses and scenes of the American countryside. Illuminated by 3,000 lights, Liberty had a 60-foot platform, 80 wooden horses, four chariots and sleighs and seated 99 passengers five abreast. Daniel C. Mueller carved many of the horses and chariot boards while other craftsmen, mainly German and Italian, created the outer and inner facings. The band organ, imported from Italy, provided Liberty's music.
In 1928 the carousel was returned to the Toboggan Company for refurbishment and sold to Olympic Park in Maplewood, New Jersey. The carousel ran there for 39 years until 1967 when the park closed and The Walt Disney Company purchased the carousel.
It was shipped to California where the horses were stripped and each given a unique design. Disney also added a 23 karat gold leaf, silver, and bronze to each of the ride's horses and added scenes from Cinderella's story. The carousel was in place when the Magic Kingdom in Orlando, Florida, opened in 1971.
The Liberty would later be named Cinderella’s Golden Carrousel and now the Prince Charming Regal Carousel. There are ninety steeds galloping, and one lone chariot. The chariot, original to Liberty, was lost during refurbishment, and rediscovered in 1997, when it was installed.
Above photo: Original photo is of the carousel at Olympic Park in New Jersey and the new photo taken in 2014 at the Magic Kingdom.
There is one horse with a gold ribbon on it's tail and it is rumored to be Cinderella's horse. Happy Riding.
Smile: A Picture History of Olympic Park, 1887-1965 by Alan A. Siegel