Len Northey, a noted theatre operator of his time, commenced construction of the Carousel in 1928. It began operation in 1929 at Henley Beach & after a few years was moved to the Jubilee Oval, Adelaide (where Adelaide University now stands), for the state’s Jubilee celebrations.
The historic Semaphore Carousel was deemed the largest operating carousel in Australia with 40 hand crafted wooden horses. Most other rides similar to the Semaphore Carousel have only 36 horses. It was originally driven by steam and later replaced by an electric lift motor. A canvas top for the carousel was made in 1936 for the Centenary Exhibition. Later the canvas was cut up to make beach shelters and chairs.
Circa 1938 the Carousel was moved to Semaphore where it has remained to this date.