32¢ Brown Jumper
American Folk Art Series
Issue Date: July 21, 1995
City: Lahaska, PA
Printed By: Sterling Sommer for Ashton-Potter (USA) Ltd
Printing Method: Lithographed
In 1892, the popularity of the carousel spread across the country as “Colonel” Charles Wallace Parker, a colorful figure from Kansas, took a second-hand portable carousel across the country charging a nickel per ride. Convinced he could build bigger and better portable carousels, he invested the profits in his own business.
As orders poured in for his portable carry-us-alls, Parker modified his horses to allow for easier stacking and transportation – prime considerations for portable carousels that had to be dismantled and rebuilt in record time. To achieve this, his horses assumed an exaggerated galloping stance, which also produced an illusion of reckless speed. Adorned with flags, rifles, and ears of corn, these horses often reflected a midwestern influence.
Pictured on the stamp, the Lillie Belle jumper with its dramatic, stylized mane, is one of Parker’s most admired carvings. The horse shown on the front was carved by the Herschell-Spillman company. Draped in an American flag he rides the park carousel at Greenfield Village in Dearborn, Michigan.
Although accidents, fires, and storms have taken their toll throughout the years, more than 300 handcrafted carousels still operate in the U.S., bringing joy to children and adults alike.