Here's an artistic and aesthetically pleasing letterhead from one of the best craftsmen in his trade at the time this letter was written (1874)--C.W.F. Dare, of Brooklyn.
Dare seems to have been in business from the 1860s to 1890s, starting out making hobby horses. He later expanded his line to include children's carriages, toys, and carousel horses, for which he may best be remembered.
He pioneered a style of horse known as County Fair. While less sophisticated stylistically than what his competitors were crafting, Dare's creations were built for endurance and mobility, featuring the rare flying horse style where the horse swings outward as the carousel builds up speed. Their construction also allowed for greater portability in the world of one-night carnival stands. This simplistic carving style gained many followers in the trade.
The company added other animals to the carousel (camels, deer, donkeys and elephants) and also made the carousel platforms upon which the animals were placed.
One of Dare's carousels, made in the 1880s, is the oldest carousel still in operation today in the United States. The Flying Horses can be found on Martha's Vineyard.
Research on C.W.F. Dare led me to The Splendid Peasant, Ltd., whose owners, Martin and Kitty Jacobs, deal in beautiful antique American Folk Art. They have kindly given me permission to use their photo of a C.W.F. Dare Carousel horse, circa early 1900s (sold from their gallery). Anyone interested in American folk art antiques will enjoy browsing the pages, gallery, and archives of this Web site.
For more information about Charles W.F. Dare and his and other carousels, a must read is Painted Ponies, by William Manns, Peggy Shank, and Marianne Stevens.