In the following (via email), John describes the research motivation and results.
The history mystery relates to a very early and modest-sized Federal Era wooden carousel that may have had 12 wooden horses upon it---It was one of the first carousels that was ever built in America---and it functioned HERE IN SALEM, MA in 1799-1800..over 200 years ago:
a) The esteemed Reverend William Bentley, of our East Church, reported in September 1799: "The place has been erected in Bridge street for the riding of the wooden horses, a newly introduced amusement of the Town."
b) Benjamin Browne reported that it was JOSEPH GARDNER (a baker on Bridge Street, and descendant of Thomas Gardner)---thus another distant Gardner kin of ours...who "was the proprietor of the famous wood-horses, which were the delight and admiration of the boys of my day"
c) A Salem newspaper ad ran in 1800, promoting the Salem carousel---and commenting upon the health benefits (for increasing blood circulation)!!
Joseph Gardner is #187 in Dr. Frank's 1907 book and is an uncle of Benjamin Brown Gardner.
Remarks: Modified: 03/10/2015