Search America's historic newspaper pages from 1789-1924 or use the U.S. Newspaper Directory to find information about American newspapers published between 1690-present. Chronicling America is sponsored jointly by the
National Endowment for the Humanities and the Library of Congress. external link Learn more
Image provided by: Library of Congress, Washington, DC
Newspaper Page Text
MAN'S PRIMITIVE PASSION FOR SLIDING DOWN HILL HAS BEEN SEIZED UPOX BY SHREWD INVENTORS,
THIS YANKEE ROLLER COASTER WAS SET UP IN PARA, BRAZIL, AT A COST OF $30,000 ALL TOLD
It paid for itself in ten weeks, so greatly did it delight our South American cousins.
CELLAR DOOR APOTHEOSIS
< •inlinuctl from third race
Th< n watch the people getting into the cars.
The two curs of the train carry eight passengers
each, and each passenger is i»ersuaded that the
rid* i. worth I<> cents so that the train brings
In £1 (.it ;:t each trip. On crowded days a train
is sent out every half minute, making 120 trains
an hour, carrying 1,920 passengers and turning
their enjoyment into $192 United States cur
rency, li nouid be interesting, if rather diffi
cult, to compute how many cellar doors it would
takf to lej 1.920 persons slide two miles each
in the course of an hour.
The men craving to cut loose for a wild rush
down nil] is the basic metal from which the
coaster mint has coined its fortunes, but thero
are other human desires that have been fed into
the hopper \\ ith it, and all have come out good
fold and greenbacks. Wed the cellar door im
pulse bo the urge of the swimming hole, man
kind's love for splashing and the smooth motion
of water, and you have the "shoot the chutes."
Add to the cellar door impulse the grown-up's
sneaking feeling that this sliding is awful fool
ishness, but he is going to cut up just the
same, and you have the "freak" rides. There
Is the "Virginia reel," in which couples slide in
tubs down a path where they are bumped and
tamed hindside before, striking pegs on the
way. There is the "Human Niagara," which is
a flight of stairs to all intents and purposes, ex
cept that when you try to walk down you roll
down instead. And then, ranked among the
"freaks," is the .slide that is really the most
fundamental of ail. the "Human Toboggan
Slide," in which you simply place your person
In contact with a smooth wooden surface and
jlide at a speed that is almost too good to be
Irue. i»nd with the blessed assurance that there
%re Do nails anywhere on the way.
The "scenic railway" is the result of another
combination; th cellar door impulse mixed with
the love of surprising things to see. Here an
Ardinary roller coaster winds through Arctic
Ice lields of papier ■uache' or canvas canyons or
NEW-YORK DAILY TRIBUNE, 'SUNDAY, SCFTEMBKK 11, 1010.
down fantastic valleys where dragons glare out
of red electric eyes and real brooks tumble In
Against the common roaster it may be urged
that the ride is an anticlimax. The big thrill
comes first and every drop thereafter is gentler
than the one before. There is a very full and
satisfactory reply to such an objection in the
I "loop the loop" machine. In this amazing road.
! after coming up from a uip instead of going on
down another hill the track keeps on rising un
til It has turned over backward, fo that cars
and passengers ;— "e turned upside down for the
fraction of a .second, during which they are
passing the top of the loop.
Here is a climax that is a climax. When you
are thrwugh the loop there are several minutes
in which you have nothing to do but get rid of
your conviction that the world is breaking to
pieces and you won't be there to see the finish
because your head is being torn off and your
heart is being pulled out by the roots. You will
be fonder of life than you ever were before.
However, if you have ridden once you will ride
again, for the thrill is different from any other
on earth. The stair rail, or even the ice cov
ered "side hill" never gave more than a hint of
such a spasm. In its capitalized state the cellar
door has done more than to develop a great in
dustry with a vast capita] and thousands of
workers. It has developed a small new science
as well, and new sensations of unheard-of in
tensity. Not content with making dollars out
of the surface deposits of the sliding instinct, it
has gone mining for deeper veins of thrill and
This is the sti.ry of the origin of the roller
coaster. L. N. Thompson was riding in a train
once when he saw some boys sliding down hill.
Now, Mr. Thompson had '■■ • n born in Indiana,
;ind afterward had lived i" *r'z >:ia. There were
no hills about 1 ;.- T : .. r.»i i « .;rui there was
no snow ir At!;-»»na. As i it* »•■! at the boys
he felt as if in- v. iv b n depnvto of his birth
right in his own boyhood and declared that he
would like to go siiding then and there.
The more he thought it over, the surer he be
came that thousands of grown-up people every
where must feel the same way. If he could
THE WAY THEY WHIRL PEOPLE THROUGH THE AIR AT ST. LOUIS.
QUEEN ALEXANDRA OF ENGLAND (1908) RIDING ON A YANKEE-MADE Say, A"
DUKE WITH WH;
GIANT COASTER AT BRIGHTON BEACH. TH* |
PASSENGERS SHOOTING OUT F*VCLS