A history of amusement park rides


The forebear of the modern roller coaster is introduced in Russia. It was a block of ice with wooden slides, said Jim Futrell, a historian with the National Amusement Park Historical Association.”It resembled more tobogganing that the roller coasters we know today,” he said. Revelers sat in an ice cart where “seats” were covered with straw or fur. The carts glided down giant ice slides and stopped when they reached sand at the bottom. Ironically, the roller coaster is called “American slides” in Russian.


LaMarcus Adna Thompson introduces the Switchback Gravity Pleasure Railway at an entertainment park on Coney Island. The machine is widely recognized as the first real roller coaster in America, Futrell said.


The Ferris Wheel, invented by George Ferris, wows the world during its debut at the Chicago World’s Fair. The ride actually came about two centuries after man-powered “pleasure wheels” carried people through the air, Futrell said. “There doesn’t seem to be a true first. It’s always people taking an idea and making it a little bit better,” he said.


A Ferris Wheel, brought by a visiting circus, is spotted in Everett near Hewitt Avenue, where the Snohomish County PUD is now. The library even has film footage of it. Everett and Monroe were prime locations for circuses because they were located on the railroad tracks. That allowed circuses to transport animals and equipment.

For more information, visit the National Amusement Park Historical Association website, www.napha.org.

More in Local News

These little piggies stay home

Norman, who was spotted last week in Everett, is part of a trio kept as pets by the “pig whisperer.”

Cheering families welcome Kidd, Shoup after 6 months at sea

“I get back Daddy back today,” said one homemade sign at Naval Station Everett.

Stanwood man, 33, killed in crash near Marysville

Speed may have been a factor, the sheriff’s department said.

Street-legal ATVs approved for some roads near Sultan

Supporters foresee tourism benefits. Opponents are concerned about injury and pollution risks.

Jamie Copeland is a senior at Cedar Park Christian Schools’ Mountlake Terrace campus. She is a basketball player, ASB president, cheerleader and, of course, a Lion. (Dan Bates / The Herald)
Cedar Park Christian senior stepping up to new challenges

Jamie Copeland’s academics include STEM studies, leadership, ASB activities, honor society.

Woman, 47, found dead in Marysville jail cell

She’d been in custody about four days after being arrested on warrants, police said.

County plans to sue to recoup costs from ballot drop-box law

A quarter-million dollars could be spent adding 19 ballot boxes in rural areas.

5 teens in custody in drug-robbery shooting death

They range in age from 15 to 17. One allegedly fatally shot a 54-year-old mother, whose son was wounded.


EVENTS Light it up on First Street A freestyle Christmas Lights Cruise… Continue reading

Most Read