Based on the time of manufacture, power source, carving, and market area, American Carousels are placed in three categories:
- Philadelphia Style - Realistic carvings with fanciful decoration. A more natural and realistic depiction of horses and menagerie animals.
- Coney Island Style - This style is characterized by flamboyant horses, bedecked with jewels and gold and silver leaf. The carousels themselves often are resplendent with mirrors to catch and reflect the light. These first two styles were located in permanent urban amusement parks, on piers or in locations served by trolley lines.
- Country Fair Style - The carousel in City Park is of this style. The horses are generally simpler. These were smaller machines made for wagon or train transport with provisions for assembly and operation in rural areas, normally for short periods or special events.
Images and information from the National Carousel Association website.