A carnival is a traveling collection outdoor fairground independent. It includes rides and attractions, as well as various stands (shooters, candy sales …).
Derived from the ancient theater of the fair, fairground art term appeared there was some thirty years in France, used by Jean-Paul Favand, founder of the Museum of Fairground Arts. The first “fairs fairs” were booths and kiddie rides removable moving around the country early in the nineteenth century, particularly in the north of the Loire.
Gradually, the fairground (“those who work at the fair”) got together to form a group distinct from the market with a specific place, which will be renamed “carnival”. The first rides will be improved as and time. And we note the appearance of the carousel (two floors) which differs from the carousel (single stage), but also many stalls that will broadcast in the country of new technologies, including photography or cinematography, often overlooked episode of history. The fairground art is called so because it brings together all the trades, the engineer glass through the architect for the realization of rides (including the famous Limonaires).
The climax: the early twentieth century:
Anything that is not profitable is not showman, as the stands are beautiful to attract customers (mirrors, decorations and fancy decorations lighted by electricity and attract passers-by). Marketing in a quite marked appears: it installs fair organs, giant, whose sound carries up to a distance of 3 km (downwind). If the carnival is hidden by trees, and other fairground arriving visitors are notified of the presence of the party. The smell of coconut (exotic and little-known yet) is dominant in the celebrations until the appearance of cotton candy, “boosted” by the Universal Exposition in St. Louis in 1904.
The primary role of the fair and the carnival is its informative: minstrels no longer exist, fairground across the country from village to village and thus have the “new” in the region, in addition to entertainment. This character will fade with the spread of television in the fifties.
The horse, which was used to make the rides will be replaced by steam and electricity by quickly in the first decade of the twentieth century, the first electricity used to attract customers more than actually enlighten. Electric lighting was particularly noticed during the Universal Exhibition in Paris in 1900.
The film will also be nomadic, especially from 1895 to 1914. Fairground having bought the rights to the Lumière brothers, mobile cinema halls will emerge a funfair and present films by Georges Méliès, until the First World War, when the film settled down completely.
Finally, the carnival offers those who do not have the means to have a ride in a horse, a bike or a car by then. Thus, we find more bikes (bicycles in the early twentieth century) or car rides on floors and on the roads at the beginning of the last century.