Grand Carousel | Luna Park Merry Go Round
Luna Park's Merry Go Round, the Grand Carousel original home was White City in Sydney before coming to Luna Park in 1923 where it has remained ever since and is fondly remembered by generations of Melburnians.
PTC#30, the thirtieth machine made by the Philadelphia Toboggan Company (PTC) in Pennsylvania, USA, was built in 1913. The carousel was specially ordered by entrepreneur, Cozens Spencer, for his new, White City amusement park in Sydney, Australia. In 1913 it cost him US$14,657.00 plus shipping!
Like a giant puzzle, the huge carousel, complete with cast iron machinery and hundreds of timber parts, set sail from America in October, 1913 and arrived in Sydney in November.
Ten years later PTC#30 came to Melbourne for the grand re-opening of Luna Park in 1923.
The carousel was one of PTC's "high class" rides, a grand machine designed for a permanent location. With a platform 52 feet in diameter, it still has the original 68 horses four abreast, 2 Roman chariots, elaborate decoration and 36 cherubs frozen in flight on the rounding boards. 26 original scenery paintings adorn the center panels and rounding boards, painted by PTC's Max Soltmann.
During the recent restoration of PTC#30, it was discovered that much of the original paint was in tact on the majority of horses, rounding boards and center panels. Company ledgers confirm that much of this work was done by PTC's head painter of 30 years, Gustav Weiss.
In 1916, the Great War closed Luna Park. It did not re-open until 1923, when the centrepiece was the Philadelphia Toboggan Company's (PTC) Carousel.
It is still the largest and most ornate of the 24 carousels known to survive in Australia. It operated until 1991, and repainted 24 times. 80 PTC carousels were made between 1903-31.
They were one of the most highly regarded manufacturers and the last to stop making carousels.
The Luna Park carousel (PTC number 30) was one of the company's finest four-row machines and the only one exported. Only about 25 PTC carousels still operate.
From 1977-2002 a $2,200,000 restoration of the carousel was completed, under Nigel Lewis, conservation architect.
All 68 horses, two chariots, 25 scenery paintings and 35 plaster cherubs were fastidiously conserved.
The carousel includes a band organ manufactured by Limonair, Paris in an impressive Art Nouveau case.
❊ Address & Contact ❊
⊜ Lower Esplanade St Kilda | Map
❊ Web Links ❊
→ Grand Carousel | Luna Park Merry Go Round
→ History Luna Park Carousel
❊ Also See... ❊
→ Luna Park
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