By the mid-19th century in England, the Carousel had become a popular fixture at funfairs.The first mechanical steam-powered roundabout was invented by Thomas Bradshaw, it first appeared at Aylsham fair in 1861. A journalist from Halifax courier described it as “A roundabout of huge proportion, driven by a steam engine that whirled around with such impetuosity.”
By 1870 engineer Frederick Savage became the chief innovator in the field of fairground machines, he started to manufacture carousels with velocipedes which were an early type of bicycle. He soon went on applying an innovation to the traditional mount of the carousel horse.
He installed gears and offset cranks on the platform of the ride giving the well-known and down motion as the horses travelled around the centre pole, this made the horses appear as if they were flying! Other than the horses he added other animals and stationary chariots and called this ride the “Platform Gallopers” which we are familiar with today.
Over time electric motors were installed and electric lights were also added which gave this ride a more modern look.
With Frederick Savage supplying the fairground market demand it was then this modern fairground ride was born. In his 1902 catalogue for roundabouts, he claimed to have painted and placed upon the market the principal novelties that have delighted the many thousands of pleasure seekers at home and abroad.