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What Was the First Roller Coaster Park?

By Edited Jul 24, 2016 0 0

Theme parks are located in almost every state and offer up some amazing rides, exciting games and of course thrilling roller coasters. You can find vacation specials through places like Six Flags and Cheap Tickets. Here is some information about the first roller coaster park.

The First Roller Coasters

The first patented roller coaster was created by LaMarcus Adna Thompson on January 20th, 1885. But, before that patent, there were roller coasters across the country already in motion. The oldest roller coaster was believed to be the "Russian Mountains," which were strategically designed hills made of ice that were located around Saint Petersburg. These mountains were built in the 15th century and had slides of 70 to 80 feet in height and a 50 degree drop. The hills were reinforced with wooden supports.

In 1827, the Mauch Chunk gravity railroad was constructed by a mining company in Summit Hill, Pennsylvania. The 8.7 mile downhill track was used to deliver coal but by the 1850's began serving as an exciting ride for thrill seekers for 50 cents a ride. Many railway companies began using their tracks for entertainment around the country and rollercoaster parks were born.

The First Roller Coaster Park

LaMarcus Adna Thompson created the gravity switchback railway that opened in Brooklyn's Coney Island in 1884. Passengers had to climb to the top of the platform and get into a bench-like seat that they rode like a car down the 600ft track; they rode to the top of another tower where they would switch vehicles so they could have a return ride back to where they started. The track design was replaced quickly with an oval shaped complete circuit track in 1885. Phillip Hinkle was the first to introduce the complete circuit track coaster that included a lift hill called the "Gravity Pleasure Road."

Coney Island seemed to be the stomping ground for new innovations and as time went on, the coasters became more efficient and offered more of a thrill for the rider. In 1886, La Marcus Adna Thompson patented his roller coaster design that included dark tunnels with painted murals and were known as "Scenic Railways." Coney Island was not the only amusement park in the country at this point; many were popping up all over and people from all over would flock to them for their chance to experience a thrill.

Coney Island was the largest amusement park in United States from 1880 to World War II and attracted several million visitors each year. Today, the park has plenty of competition, but still serves as family friendly amusement park with rides, games, great food and entertainment for millions of visitors each year. The rides and attractions are independently owned and operated, so you cannot purchase tickets for Coney Island you just enter and choose what you want to do.



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