19th Century,  Historical Flavor,  Life in General

Historical Flavor: Roller Coasters

Sandra Ardoin @SandraArdoin

School is out and the amusement parks are packed with people looking for a thrill. Many find it with a heartstopping ride on a roller coaster. 

Did you know Coney Island in New York put the first American roller coaster to work? The Coney Island coaster opened in June of 1884. This “Switchback Railway” went a whopping six miles per hour. I can’t even imagine the excitement. 🙂 The craze began and the rides evolved in height, design, and speed up to about the era of the Great Depression. Hard times meant little money for those fun excursions.

The first steel-tube coaster opened at Disneyland in 1959. It’s been … ahem … a race up and down hill since. Carowinds Amusement Park, straddling the line between North and South Carolina, opened the largest giga coaster (one that reaches a height of 300+ feet) in 2015. The Fury 325 is a mile-and-a-quarter long, with a 300-foot drop, and can clock up to 95 miles per hour.

Oddly, the Fury 325 didn’t make the 2016 video below from Titan Top List that describes the five most extreme roller coasters worldwide. Just don’t watch it on a full stomach.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sTofF4_OPkM&w=560&h=315]

Are you a roller coaster rider? Do you have a favorite? Do you prefer the new giga coasters or the wooden coasters of the past?


As an author of heartwarming historical and contemporary romance, Sandra Ardoin engages readers with page-turning stories of love and faith. Rarely out of reach of a book, she's also an armchair sports enthusiast, country music listener, and seldom says no to eating out.

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