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At the Zoo: 1904

At the Zoo: 1904

New York circa 1904. "The goat carriages, Coney Island." 8x10 inch dry plate glass negative, Detroit Publishing Company. View full size.


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The Scenic Railway

L.A. Thompson's Scenic Railway was in fact the earliest roller coaster-type ride, introduced by LaMarcus Adna Thompson in 1884 as a "switchback railway" in which the passengers would ride in their car from one tower to another and then be "switched back" for the return trip. A few years later it was converted to a looping ride after the introduction of the first roller coaster with a lift hill. It's not clear how long it operated in its original form but Thompson did patent his version of the scenic railway, which included painted backdrops and tunnels. The entrance to that ride is what we're seeing here and in the pony photo.


Hope the kiddies didn't beat those goats like a rented mule.

Low-steppin' strutters

You can purchase your new surrey equipped with propulsion ranging from 1 to 2 gp. Fringe extra.


Far right, guy under Young's Hats parasol is NOT wearing a hat! In 1905, wasn't that pretty much the next thing to running around nekkid?


To my googling amazement, abbreviation for Railway.

If you don't like pony ride


Look at all the kids!

Never crossed my mind

Being from the South and hearing about Coney Island all my life, I didn't think of it having a zoo. Always pictured a carnival atmosphere with a lot of rides, but not wagons pulled by goats.

West 10th street today

Those were the days.

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