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Bumper to Bumper: 1942

Bumper to Bumper: 1942

May 1942. "Southington, Connecticut. Amusement park." With a dress code. Photo by Fenno Jacobs for the Office of War Information. View full size.


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These are called 'dodgems' in the UK and are certainly still a feature of travelling fairs (aka 'the shows' in Scotland).

Keeping the streak alive, sort of

Lake Compounce opened in the 1840's and has long touted itself as America's oldest continually operating amusement park. That's kinda sorta true. About 25 years ago the park was in very bad financial shape and the then-owners had no hope of running it for full seasons or getting most of the rides in operable condition. During a span of three or four years they opened it for only a few days each year to host concerts, which to their reasoning at least was enough to keep the streak alive.

Today the park's under new ownership and seems to be in relatively decent shape both physically and financially. I must add, however, that I grew up just a couple towns away from Lake Compounce and at least in my circles the general view was that the park was rather uninteresting and not really worth the money. And this was after it had recovered from the worst of its troubles. Most people would drive the extra 40 miles to Riverside Park (now known as Six Flags New England) right over the Massachusetts line, which offered far more and better attractions and wasn't that much more expensive.

Not exactly Porches

I remember driving these bumper cars at Lake Compounce as a child. (They looked like this, but dinged up almost beyond recognition.) My enduring memory is that when trying to exercise defensive or offensive moves the response from the steering wheel was, shall we say, vague. I wore my tie of course; that's simply how it was done.

[Front porch or back? -Dave]

Nyuk, nyuk. Capital "P" Dave.

Love It!

Love the picture and I loved driving those bumper cars when I was a kid.

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Old Blue Eyes

Hey ... what's Frank Sinatra doing there in the back?? ;-)

They still do this today.

This is an office staff doing team building exercises.

This is Lake Compounce

Lake Compounce is still around, but unfortunately these scooters are long gone.

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