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VINTAGRAPH • WPA • WWII • THE NEW ZEALAND FOREST, c. 1950

Curves Ahead: 1905

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Curves Ahead: 1905

Nantasket Beach, Massachusetts, circa 1905. "Roller coaster at Paragon Park." 8x10 inch dry plate glass negative, Detroit Publishing Company. View full size.

 

Creaks And Goans

While I do concur that this seems to be a mild coaster but one thing this coaster has over the newer scare rides is the fact it is made out of wood.

Modern rides are all steel and do not give as easy as wood so on these rides the sway which you could see from the ground was better, the clicks from hitting the rail joints were louder and the wood could be heard creaking to almost the bursting point.

Plus to the horror of all Oshaites there was no seat belt or safety bar holding you in and down. If you were so inclined you could ride standing up and shouting, "Hey ma look no hands."

Z-Curve

These early, gentle rides were generally called Velvet Coasters or Scenic Railways. Appropriate.

Or should it be titled:

Laundry Ahead.

Mellow Ride

This is quite the mild coaster.

Coaster for Wussies

I have always said that I like the turns and going fast part of roller coasters, just not the hills. This is the perfect roller coaster for me!

What fancy name would they come with for it? The Death Spiral?

Mild

Following the course closely it doesn't really seem like a roller coaster in the sense we'd think of it, with huge dips and climbs. It seems the only people that might be intimidated would be those with acrophobia, not tachophobia...

Relatively Tame

There's no sign of the classic heart-stopping big plunge after the cars complete their ascent. It appears they circle three times with relatively mild dips along the way. I rather like a "swoopy" coaster anyway, like the Matterhorn at Disneyland.

B ticket ride for cupcakes and grannies

This looks to be quite a tame ride, certainly compared to later coasters. I suppose screaming just would not do in this era nor losing your derby or floppy hat along the way.

Perhaps it was a technology thing in 1905 that limited the speed and kept coasters from being the thrill ride of later years. Coaster historians, please chime in.

Hey, two cars on the track at once!

Not to worry, the sophisticated computer system will keep them from crashing into ... um ... never mind.

Slide Rule Rules!

All designed without the use of any electronic calculating device. I wonder how long it took the Engineer to design this wonderful assembly of 2x's and how many drawings he needed to explain just how it "went together"?

By today's standards

A very tame coaster. I might actually have gotten my wife onto this one!

 
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