The Looff family at the Crescent Park merry-go-round, c. 1905-1910.
From left; Charles, I. D Looff, his wife, Anna (Dolle) Looff, oldest son, Charles, Helen, Emma, William, and youngest son, Arthur.
The History of the Looff Carousel
The Crescent Park Carousel was built in 1895 by Charles I.D. Looff, one of the earliest and foremost carousel designers. The Crescent Park Carousel is nationally recognized as a true masterpiece of wood sculpture. Originally built as a showcase for prospective buyers, it is the largest and most elaborate of Looff's works. The Carousel contains 62 beautifully hand carved figures and four fanciful chariots. Overall richness of effect was Looff's trademark and the Crescent Park Carousel gives full interpretation to that spirit. Elaborate embellishments of decorative panels, beveled mirrors, faceted glass jewels, electric lights, colored sandwich glass windows and its original band organ music surround flying steeds to create Looff's "Total Carousel Experience." Saved in the 1970's by a handful of residents, the Crescent Park Carousel was placed on the National Register of Historic sites and places in 1976. In 1985, the Rhode Island General Assembly proclaimed the Carousel as the State Jewel of American Folk Art and in 1987, the Department of the Interior, National Park Service, designated the Carousel as a National Historic Landmark.
The Carousel by the Numbers
The ride is 50 feet in diameter
The building is 100 feet in diameter
The ride is 157 feet in circumference
One ride is thirty revolutions which means the ride travels approximately 0.9 miles (4710 feet)
In one hour, the ride travels 9 miles (47100 feet) or in one day, the ride travels 71.4 miles (376,800 feet)
The average season is 100 days so the ride would travel 7136 miles (over 37 million feet)
In the 116 years of operation, the ride has gone 33 times around the Earth or 3.3 times to the Moon!
And with an annual average rider ship of 100,000
The Crescent Park Carousel has rode 11.6 million Riders. And still counting.....