The History of Roller Coasters Essay

The History of Roller Coasters Essay

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The History of Roller Coasters

Everyone remembers their first ride on a roller coaster, an experience of terror, joy and excitement, as you tower over amusement parks going through curves and loops. From wooden wonders and steel coasters to twisters and corkscrews, the great rides began with the Russian ice slides in the 17th century and have developed into the ultimate thrill machines of today. The origins of the roller coaster will probably never be a settled issue, historians and coaster enthusiasts could argue where it all began (Harris). The success and evolution of the roller coaster and white-knuckle ride has inextricably mirrored the growth and changing perception of the amusement park industry over the years. A period of intense innovation and development in roller coaster science have been interrupted by long periods of decline and neglect, but with each era comes a new success for coasters. Many inventors have aided to the progression of roller coasters and what they are today and it is important to understand what they have done.

There are many inventors who have contributed to the advancements of roller coasters and each of them have had a huge impact on what roller coasters are today. The earliest inventor would be August John Mueller, known as John Miller professionally, who was born in Homewood, Illinois in 1874. At the age of 19 Miller started working with a man named LaMarcus Thompson and became his chief engineer. By 1911, Miller was a consultant to the Philadelphia Toboggan Company (PTC), where he designed more than a dozen coasters for PTC, including the mammoth Giant Coaster at Paragon Park in Nantasket Beach, Massachusetts. During the late twenties and the Depression years Miller was associate...


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...r Coaster Thrills in 3-D. Distributed by Goldhil Video, Thousand Oaks, CA 1994. (ES)

Bennett, David (1998). Roller Coaster: Wooden and Steel Coasters, Twisters, and
Corkscrews. New Jersey: Cartwell Books, Inc. (SS)

Harris, Tom (1998). How Roller Coasters Work.
http://howstuffworks.com/roller-coaster.htm [Accessed 9 April 2002]. (PS)

Rathe, Andrew. Coaster – World.com. 2001. http://www.coaster-world.com/index.php.
[Accessed 15 April 2002]. (ES)

Sandy, Adam (1996). Roller Coasters. http://ultimaterollercoaster.com/coasters/
[Accessed 9 April 2002]. (PS)

Silverstein, Herma. Scream Machines: Roller Coasters Past, Present and Future. New
York: Walker, 1986. (PS)

Throgmorton, Todd H. Roller Coasters of America. Osceola, Wis.: Motorbooks
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Wiese, Jim. Roller Coaster Science. New York: John Wiley, 1994. (PS)

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