The first roller coaster was patented in the US almost 130 years ago
, but what came before the patent? Russian ice slides from the late 1600s
. As discussed in The Incredible Scream Machine: A History of the Roller Coaster
(Google books preview), the ice slides, or Flying Mountains, started as basic frozen ramps
one would ride on a block of ice, but as soon as royalty became interested, the designs improved, as discussed and depicted in this PDF
. Royalty moved some of these tracks indoors, replacing ice with waxed or soaped planks. Though some sources credit an unnamed French traveler for furthering this general design towards something more akin to the modern roller coaster
, but The Incredible Scream Machine
gives that credit to Katalnaya Gorka (Sliding Hill)
. If nothing else, the Russian origin of ice mountains lives on through the term for "roller coaster" in a number of languages translating to Russian mountain
(though in Russian, it's American mountain).
posted by filthy light thief
on Feb 28, 2014 -
Collectors Weekly takes a look
at dark rides. "Most roller coasters put their stomach-dropping slopes and brain-twisting loops front and center for all the world to see. But the amusement-park attractions known as “dark rides” keep their thrills hidden. As you’re standing in line for a tour of a haunted house full of ghosts and ghouls, a high-seas adventure with pirates, or a ride on the range with gun-slinging cowboys of the Wild West, all you can see are the riders in front of you, who get into little cars before disappearing through swinging doors into the dark. You hear the sounds of screams and shrieks coming from within. And then, an empty car arrives, stopping before you with a mechanical ka-thunk. You’re next."
posted by porn in the woods
on Oct 23, 2013 -
(SLVimeo) where roller coasters and other amusement park rides, without their tracks or frames
, move excited riders around downtown Buenos Aires.
posted by oneswellfoop
on Feb 17, 2012 -
"We used to find teeth in the yard. We used to find wigs, glasses, guns. Everything we found in the yard…nobody came back for them, though.
" May Timpano describes her life in the house under the rollercoaster
where she and her boyfriend, rollercoaster operator Fred Moran, lived for 36 years in the former Kensington Hotel
which had the Thunderbolt
rollercoaster built around it in 1925. The house -- the model for Alvy Singer's childhood home
in Annie Hall -- burned
in 1991 and the roller coaster was razed
posted by jessamyn
on Apr 17, 2009 -
The Green Dragon
, a roller coaster at Greenwood Forest Park, a family 'attraction' in Wales, generates more power than it uses. How is this possible? It's all those stairs ... [more inside]
posted by woodblock100
on Jul 2, 2008 -
So long, and thanks for all the thrills.
This weekend, Astroworld (I refuse to prepend "Six Flags") will close its doors. Envisioned in 1968 by Judge Roy Hofheinz
(who also brought us Houstonians a major league baseball team
, and a stadium
in which they could play), the amusement park was where I spent a lot of my childhood in the 70s. Grass roots
movements to save the park have failed
, and thus it's time to say goodbye to the place that played host to one of the best rollercoasters
in the world, a ride that scared the crap
out of me, a double ferris wheel
with a twist, as well as the Boogie Fog Disco
, where I learned how to do The Hustle. All's not lost, as at least I can download the Texas Cyclone
, but I still feel a little misty-eyed for the boy who spent most of his weekends in this magical and wondrous place. Farewell.
posted by WolfDaddy
on Oct 24, 2005 -