The Postal Service issued a block of four 25-cent Carousel Animals commemorative stamps on October 1, 1988, in Sandusky, Ohio. These newest members of the Folk Art Series kicked-off National Stamp Collection Month. The block of four stamps consists of the most sought-after carousel animal, the lead or king horse, and a long-horned goat, a bejeweled camel, and a graceful deer.
The dedication ceremony was at Cedar Point Amusement Park, home to four hand-carved carousels and the one-of-a-kind king horse featured in the block.
The carousel traces its roots to 500 A.D., when Byzantine "riders" held on to ropes bound to a central pole and were spun around by centrifugal force. This sport became a popular form of entertainment for rich and poor alike.
Since its inception, talented American artists have raised carousel artisanship to an extraordinary level. Using animation, realism, and ornate decorations, they transformed mere seats on a revolving ride into exotic creatures that spring to life each time the music starts.
From the early 1970s, appreciation for hand-carved carousels has grown tremendously. In the face of fiberglass and aluminum imitations, amusement parks and carousel collectors have championed preservation efforts for the wooden originals. In 1988, more than 200 handcrafted carousels were in operation across the country.
Designed by Paul Calle, the stamps were printed in the offset/intaglio process by the Bureau of Engraving and Printing.
Postal Bulletin (August 25, 1988).