1985 Looff Carousel - San Diego, California
The Looff Carousel was first installed in Fair Park, Texas in 1895. Its journeys took the wooden structure to Santa Monica, California in the 1950s, Spanaway, Washington in the 1970s, Portland, Oregon in 1979, and Burbank, California in 1997, finally making it to San Diego in 2004.
Featuring over 40 horses, a menagerie of other animals, including camels, giraffes, and an elephant, the carousel was built by Charles I. D. Looff, the father of carousels in America. Born in Denmark, Looff came to the United States in 1870. He built his first carousel in 1876 for Coney Island and his style would go on to influence a myriad of other carousel makers.
While many of his creations have disappeared with time, you can still experience Looff’s legendary work at the Zeum Carousel in San Francisco, Looff’s Lite-A-Line in Long Beach, California, and the Santa Monica Looff Hippodrome on the Santa Monica Pier.
For even more on the 1895 Looff Carousel, visit Atlas Obscura…