It’s August 16th, National Roller Coaster Day. On this day 114 years ago, Edwin Prescott patented a looping roller coaster, which later became the Loop-the-Loop at Coney Island. There’s information out there on the interwebs that lazily report this as the day that the first roller coaster was patented. From what I’m gathering, this day was tied to Prescott’s patent for a looping coaster, not the first roller coaster or even the first looping roller coaster.
According to Ultimate Roller Coasters’ Roller Coaster History Guide and an article (called “Prescott Street”) on a Massachusetts news site, Prescott patented his own looping coaster on this day 1898.
Interestingly, the loop design that Prescott patented was too circular and produced too many g-forces. He altered it, making it an ellipse, before it debuted at Coney Island as Loop-the-Loop. It was one of the first looping roller coasters in the World when it opened in 1901.
Apparently, it was only successful for a while. Guests were charged admission to a viewing area and eventually people were more interested in watching it than riding it. Loop-the-Loop was eventually removed as ridership dwindled.
To help celebrate National Roller Coaster Day, here’s my favorite commercial of all-time. You can view it below for free!:
How did you celebrate National Roller Coaster Day? Leave a comment below. Image via Ultimate Roller Coasters courtesy of Adam Sandy. All rights reserved.