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Slides & Rides: 1906

Cincinnati, Ohio, circa 1906. "View in Chester Park." Bridal Tours and Auto Rides, 10 cents. Slide the Slides for free! 8x10 inch glass negative, Detroit Publishing Company. View full size.

Cincinnati, Ohio, circa 1906. "View in Chester Park." Bridal Tours and Auto Rides, 10 cents. Slide the Slides for free! 8x10 inch glass negative, Detroit Publishing Company. View full size.


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The Slide of My Life

Long slides, like this one, were also popular in the 1970s. I recall this well because, on a family vacation, I was given charge of my baby sister who wanted to try every slide available. It was my job to help sister up the long staircase to the top, and - - on one memorable occasion - - to squeeze our way down again among those going up so we could go back to terra firma when sister's nerve failed (and, yes, the more firma the less terra was true for her, to borrow a line from some wit of the early 20th century).

The old wood slides had been polished smooth by the bottoms of countless customers. The other advantage of wood slides was that, unlike the metal ones, they did not heat to blistering temperatures in the sun. No matter whether I was given a burlap bag or old throw rug to ride, the metal slides were hot enough to feel through the fabric. The trick was to sit on the rug, seat sister on my lap, then hold her *and* the rug/bag I sat on. Not holding it tightly meant the risk of losing it as we flew down the slide. That happened the first time; I ended up fetching the lost rug and carrying it and sister to the bottom while hearing derisive shouts from the worker at the slide's top.

There were rough patches at the ends of most slides, ostensibly to prevent the riders from shooting off into the legs of those who stood below, watching. Often, however, the rugs stopped but I didn't, and I quickly learned to wear heavy-duty bluejeans because those rough patches were, indeed, rough! I also learned that Sis might scream and cry like a soul in torment all the way down, then, back on terra firma, demand to go again and again.

Where is Everybody?

It looks to be a beautiful day, the time close to midday judging by the center tree's shadow, late spring or early summer judging by the leaves. I'm surprised the park is so empty. Taken on a Sunday, perhaps?

Touring the bride

What would a “Bridal Tour” have been?

The fun's over

Chester Park lasted 57 years, from 1875 to 1932. There's a very good video on YouTube about the park in its heyday. Nearly everything about the park is gone now. Here is a presentation about that from cincinnatirefined. Based on that information, here's an aerial of where Chester Park stood. The park was replaced by the Greater Cincinnati Water Works and the Superior Honda dealership to its east and north.

Click to embiggen

It's a toss-up --

... ice cream soda for a nickel or taking my chance on the Round of Pleasure.

5 Cent Ice Cream Sodas!

I haven't thought about those in ages. One of the great treats of my childhood in New Jersey was my folks taking us to the Howard Johnson's on Route 3 in Clifton for ice cream sodas. Like my father I always got a "black and white" -- chocolate syrup, vanilla ice cream and soda.

Helter Skelter

I believe a slide/ride like this is what inspired Paul McCartney's song.

Helter Skelter...

"When I get to the bottom
I go back to the top of the slide
Where I stop and I turn and I go for a ride
'Til I get to the bottom and I see you again…"

This is what the Beatles were singing about, despite what C. Manson thought.

Splintery Ride

Assuming the windmill slide is made from wood, I wonder how many riders got splinters in the wrong part of their anatomy? Doesn't look very safe.

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