During the late 17th and early 18th centuries, young French noblemen honed their jousting skills by straddling legless wooden "horses" attached to a contraption pushed around a center pole by a servant. Stationed nearby was a post from which a brass ring dangled, waiting to be speared. This game of "catching the brass ring" became the forerunner of the present-day carousel. The first carousels were powered by horses, mules or even men who cranked the rotation mechanism manually. By 1860, English engineer Frederick Savage had designed a portable center-mounted steam engine capable of propelling three or four rows of carousel horses on platforms up to 48 feet in diameter. He later developed a system of overhead gears that moved the festive mounts in their familiar up-and-down motion.