John Miller: Father of the Roller Coaster Essay

John Miller: Father of the Roller Coaster Essay

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Every year an estimated 290 million people all over the world flock to amusement and theme parks to experience the thrills and excitement of the modern day roller coaster. (Boldurian 16). Now thousands of people a day can safely experience the G-forces that an astronaut or fighter pilot would experience in flight. "The Revolution" a roller coaster at Six Flags Magic Mountain in Valencia California gives riders an amazing 4.9 Gs; that is 1.5 more than an astronaut at launch. (Boldurian 16). These G-forces create thrills and fear and excitement in all who ride them. But the truth is that there is no reason to fear. Roller Coasters are exceptionally safe. The mortality rate for roller coasters is one in 90 million, and most of the fatality occurred due to failure to follow safety guidelines. (Boldurian 17). But roller coasters have not always been this safe. One of the first coaster attractions was actually just a mine rail designed to bring coal to the base of the mountain (Lemelson-MIT Program). The attraction was a thirty minute ride, with speeds of more than one-hundred miles per hour. As time went on entrepreneurs in the late 1800's began creating “quick buck cheap thrill attractions.” These early coasters lacked safety for the sake of thrills. This changed when John A. Miller engineer and roller coaster designer began making coasters. John Miller held over 100 patents many of which were for roller coaster safety and functionality that are still used today (Lemelson-MIT Program). John Miller's inventions and improvements to the roller coaster make him the father of the modern roller coaster that we know today.
John Miller was born in 1874 and at the age of 19 he began working with roller coaster engineer and designer ...


... middle of paper ...


...ller coasters forever and continues to be found on roller coasters today. This device and the hundreds of other devices he engineered make him the father of the roller coaster. And thanks to John Miller thousands of people can experience hills, drops, banks, loops with just the fear of losing their lunch.


Works Cited

Boldurian, M. A. “SCREAM MACHINES: THE SCIENCE OF ROLLER COASTERS .” CARNEGIE MAGAZINE 30 Sept. 2000: 16-23.

Cartmell, Robert Cartmell. The Incredible Scream Machine: A History of the Roller Coaster. N.p.: Popular Press, 1987.

Lemelson-MIT Program . Dept. home page. Nov. 2004. Massachusetts Institute of Technology. 17 Sept. 2008 .

Rutherford, Scott. The American Roller Coaster. Wisconsin: MBI Publishing Company, 2000.

Schafer, Mike, and Scott Rutherford. Roller Coasters . N.p.: MBI , 1998.

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