The subtlety of the carving detail on the legs of the carousel horses is extraordinary!
Parker has cleverly placed his identifying mark, “C.W.Parker, Leavenworth, Kan,”
on the bottom of most horseshoes, such as these on the extra-large horse, Terri, above.
The horseshoes are a separate metal shoe on all but the tiny Parker Ponies, below.
Above, a medium older leg completely stripped;
you can see the place where the horseshoe attached with tiny nails.
You can also see the size of the feet on the Parker Ponies
changed over the years: the younger horse with big feet is on the left.
Some of the horseshoes
have an additional mark!
MPFC cannot comprehend the
importance of the secondary marks.
On the Large Hunter Jumper above,
the Roman Numeral “V” exists…
Is this for “5”? And why?
Or is it, laughably, a “V” for
Very Very old carousel horse?
We cannot detect a pattern: All the Large Black Stargazer’s extra marks are an “L”,
so you might think, a large horse, right? Or is that a fifty-year-mark!?
Fifty of these models? Fifty horseshoes made?
But why are the Water River Horse shoes labeled “L” and he is HUGE, an extra-large!
And Terri is an extra-large and she has no extra identifying marks…
Plus there is another mystery… some of the horses have two marks on their shoes. On the Water River Horse, three are marked “L” and one “V”!
Makes no sense, but we are certain the numerals mean something!
On the Medium Pinto Stargazer, above, “37”, the only numerals
that are not Roman, adorn all four shoes. WHY?
Does anyone know why these
horseshoes are marked this way!?!
The horses are refusing to say!
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Written by Kate Powell ©MPF Conservation.
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I am forwarding this post to a friend who is seriously into carousel horses. I’ll let you know if he replies.
Okee-dokeee! I am getting to responding late, woudln’t you say?
You’re a busy woman, I understand.
I try! Mostly I wanted peeps to see how hard it is and how often conjecture and surmising are the only ways, based on our experience. Sometimes people catch the posts and send me emails. I tried to reach out to the Parker museum but they are a small museum and may not have the staff to answer emails.
Many of your questions can be answered by reading the Merry Go Roundup Volume 44, Number 3, Fall 2017.
Parker Horseshoes by Jerry Reinhardt
Although there are many questions unanswered this article helps put the information in better context. The old wood casting molds still exist in collections and could lead to more clues on the reference numbers. It is reasonable to assume they referenced the shape, style and max width of the shoe.
That would be lovely to read but unfortunately, even doing a search with the exact article name, the magazine does not come up to purchase or to read online. It would be great if past periodicals could be digitized and referenced, even for a fee.
There are many sources online, perhaps you should join the National Carousel Association, where most of the true experts gather and share ideas and historical information.
Joining now is good, but having access to old issues would be the best!