I added some calliope music for the calliope enthusiasts (I am one!) and those who have never had the pleasure of hearing a real, old-fashioned steam calliope. Enjoy!


There is no music that makes me as nostalgic as the pumping of a steam calliope on an old carousel. There aren’t many working calliopes remaining, so if you get a chance to spend time with one, donโ€™t miss it!

And, if you play a keyboard, playing a calliope is truly something else!

Author: Marilyn Armstrong

Writer, photography, blogger. Previously, technical writer. I am retired and delighted to be so. May I live long and write frequently.

17 thoughts on “CAROUSEL AND CALLIOPE”

  1. Wonderful photos. Your calliope music is not really my thing, but yes it is because it reminds me of days at the english seaside when I was a kid. Working class holidays were spent where the sea was. There were slot machines where you could win some sort of cheap ornament, or perhaps something sweet. There were side shows with coconut stands, and of course carousels and somewhere in the background you heard the music. Twice a year in our local market town we have a market with it all, but if there is music it is something modern and canned – calliope? Forget it, a thing of the past.


    1. When I was a kid, all carousel’s had a working calliope, but now almost all that music is canned and if you want calliope music, you go on line and find some … or go to a museum. I think the calliopes more or less wore out.

      We had those seaside resorts too. Now, there are three or four of them left. Coney Island is one of them and it has survived somehow through all of the storms and developers and they’ve threatened to tear it down many times. But it’s still standing. i know there’s another one alive and well in California, and a third on on Lake Michigan. I think there is one more somewhere, but i don’t know where. It used to be that there were dozens of these in every state. Now, you get the “mobile” ones that go from town to town, but even they are becoming rare. The rides are old and there have been a lot of accidents.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Beautiful post Marilyn, there is something about a calliope and your photos and words brings back another time, more simple and pure days it seems in history ๐Ÿ™‚ Such a rarity these days ๐Ÿ™‚


  3. I like sound of the calliope with the old timey tunes more than the canned pop music they have now. We had a lovely one that was used with our now departed steam carousel in Hobart. I do miss them.


    1. I think everyone like the calliope better, but they got old and no one was building new ones. And they don’t even make the little steam machines that made them work. There are a few “homemade” ones you can see on special exhibit and museums, but otherwise, they are just gone. What a pity.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Took some photo’s of a Carousel in my home town, Perth a couple of weeks ago. It was stationary while i was there and i think it was diesel driven not steam and i suspect the music would be canned also. I may have to go back when it is operating and find out – but i’m not hopeful of it being steam or having a real calliope. There time does seem to have passed.

    Love the photos! ๐Ÿ™‚


    Liked by 1 person

    1. I doubt there are more than two or three real steam calliopes working anywhere today and probably not in a carousel. I’ve see them in museums, mostly. When I was growing up, thought, most carousels had calliopes But they got old. I think there are some classic old ones in France and Belgium.


Talk to me!

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.