The roller coaster is one of the most popular rides in amusement parks and theme parks. They are designed on the principle of the railroad, but provide a thrill ride. The track of a roller coaster can be laid out in many configurations and may include sharp rises and falls, vertical loops and sharp twists and turns. The passengers are restrained in specialized roller coaster cars, which are called trains when there is more than one connected together. The two main types of roller coasters are wooden and steel roller coasters. If you have ever wondered who invented this type of amusement park ride, keep reading to find out.
Who invented the roller coaster?
The history of the roller coaster dates back to the 17th century when the Russians would construct hills of ice supported with wood for sled rides. It is thought that the first wheeled cart and track design was built in Paris in 1804 with the name Les Montagnes Russes (English: Russian Mountains). However, this is disputed by some historians who believe the Russians themselves were the first to have such a track.
The next stage in the development of the roller coaster occurred in 1827 after a mining company in Summit Hill, Pennsylvania constructed a gravity railroad, which was used to deliver coal. It didn’t take long for the company to open up the track, known as “Gravity Road,” to thrill-seekers. This provided the basis for the first roller coaster.
LaMarcus Adna Thompson began work on the Switchback Railway at Coney Island in 1881. This amusement ride opened in 1884 and was the first roller coaster in the United States. In 1885 LaMarcus Adna Thompson patented his invention. It was the same year that Phillip Hinkle created a full circuit coaster. In 1919 John Miller developed the first underfriction roller coaster. These developments led to the modern roller coaster, which opened in amusement parks all over the world.