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MMD > Archives > July 1999 > 1999.07.11 > 08Prev  Next

Carousel Trivia
By Matthew Caulfield

Harvey Chao is more or less right in the answers to the carousel
trivia he submitted yesterday.  All American-made carousels turn in
a counter-clockwise direction.

Why?  Possibly because of the ring machines that used to always go with
American merry-go-rounds (to use the down-to-earth term for a carou-
sel).  Right-handed people needed to sit or stand on the machine so
that they could grab rings with their right hand.  Hence the counter-
clockwise direction.  That also means that on American merry-go-round
figures, the fancy (romance) side of the animal -- the side most
elaborately carved and decorated -- was the right-hand side.

The opposite is true for most (all?) European machines.  They turn in a
clockwise direction and the left side of the animal is the fancy side,
if there is a difference.

So there are far more than two machines that turn clockwise, as a trip
to Europe will show.

Matthew Caulfield

(Message sent Sun 11 Jul 1999, 17:16:57 GMT, from time zone GMT-0700.)

Key Words in Subject:  Carousel, Trivia

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