, United States (USA) (American Colonies) - 1884 - The first gravity roller coaster amusement ride (LeMarcus A. Thompson, United States)
"1884: The first gravity roller coaster designed and built specifically as an amusement ride opens at Coney Island, New York. It is a commercial success and leads to the building of roller coasters all over the world.
LaMarcus Adna Thompson’s Coney Island coaster, which, for a nickel ($1.15 in today’s money), hurtled passengers down an undulating 600-foot-long track at speeds up to a blistering 6 mph, would hardly be recognizable to riders of modern-day roller coasters.
Passengers faced sideways, for one thing, and the track was not laid out in a continuous loop. Like the switchback gravity railway used by Pennsylvania coal miners that inspired it, the Coney Island coaster ran point-to-point, with nothing but gravity to provide the propulsion.
The ride began atop a 50-foot-high platform, and when it reached the other end, passengers had to disembark so the cars could be switched over to the return track for the ride back to the starting point..."
www.wired.com/ 2011/ 06/ 0616gravity-roller-coaster/
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