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  • Carousel

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    French old-fashioned style carousel with stairs in La Rochelle A carousel (American English: from French carrousel and Italian carosello), roundabout (British English), or merry-go-round, is a type of amusement ride consisting of a rotating circular platform with seats for riders. The "seats" are traditionally in the form of rows of wooden horses or other animals mounted on posts, many of which are moved up and down by gears to simulate galloping, to the accompaniment of looped circus music. This leads to one of the alternative American names, the galloper. Other popular names are jumper, horseabout, and flying horses. Carousels are commonly populated with horses, each horse weighing roughly 100 lbs (45 kg), but may include a variety of mounts, for example pigs, zebras, tigers, or mythological creatures such as dragons or unicorns. Sometimes, chair-like or bench-like seats are used, and occasionally mounts can be shaped like aeroplanes or cars. The "roundabouts" or "merry-go-rounds" installed in playgrounds are usually somewhat different devices: simple, child-powered rotating platforms with bars or handles to which children can cling while riding.

  • Doepke Toys

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    Jaguar toy car from 1955. In the collection of The Children's Museum of IndianapolisDoepke Model Toys have delighted kids for decades and are now the envy of toy collectors everywhere. Based near Cincinnati, Ohio, Doepke (pron. "dep key") made several different types of toys ranging from model automobiles such as the MG, 1955 Jaguar, a fire engine, trains (big enough to ride on) and construction vehicles including bulldozers, graders, loaders, earth movers, and cranes. The toys are noted for their remarkable realism. In 1946, Charles W. Doepke with his assistant and brother Frederick started the Doepke Toy Company in Oakley, Ohio, a neighborhood in Cincinnati. In 1950 production was moved to Rossmoyne, Ohio. Being so soon after the conclusion of World War II, many toys available at the time reflected a war theme. In contrast to this trend, the Doepkes were encouraged by their grandmother to create toys that were not war-related. Since both men had previously worked in the steel industry, they were quite aware of the possibilities and were adamant about creating exact duplicates of then modern construction equipment and cars. The popularity of Doepke toys among children in the 1950s was likely bolstered by their uncanny realism. Yet, this appeal was not necessarily limited to children. On many occasions, salesmen would carry Doepke toys with them to help with sales. "In one instance a model made by Doepke actually worked out a production flaw in its much larger relative." Said, the daughter of Charles Doepke in an interview. One of Doepke’s best selling items was its steel crane, first manufactured in 1949. It was one of the most popular pressed steel construction toys ever made. It was rugged enough to survive the rigors of outdoor use and had realistic details like rubber Goodyear tires. The toy had two functional hand crank hoists, accurate rigging, a stamped steel open lattice boom and a working clamshell bucket used for excavating. The toy was priced at $14.95. In 1959, due to an increase in lower cost competitors and a rise in steel costs coupled with the company's inability to create the same realism with wood toys, Doepke was forced to shut down. Today, there are many collectors of Doepke toys and the models are routinely offered for sale in online forums such as EBay.

  • Inchworm (toy)

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    The Inchworm was a ride-on toy for children produced by the Hasbro Corporation, first introduced in the early 1970s. Inchworm was designed by Joseph M. Burck while he worked for Marvin Glass and Associates. Burck built the first inchworm using his clothes-dryer's hose and tested it with his then-three-year-old son. A scooter with yellow wheels in the shape of a green caterpillar wearing a yellow hat, the Inchworm was jointed under the saddle so its wheelbase could expand and contract. The wheels were constricted by a ratchet mechanism to rotating forward. As the rider bounced up and down on the saddle, the toy moved forward in a way somewhat resembling a Geometer caterpillar, with the ratcheting wheels making a clicking sound.

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