Roller Coaster HistoryDiscover the history of the world's most popular thrill ride – the roller coaster. Explore this series of articles to learn about the origin and development of this legendary amusement park device.
Roller Coaster History Series
Begin your ride with a introduction from roller coaster historian Adam Sandy.
How It Started
The origin, it begins with a simple slide.
Early Years in America
The first American Roller Coaster is born.
The popularity boom and the sudden building craze.
Coney Island History
Sodom by the sea at America's most famous amusement parks.
Depression and World War
The dark days arrive for the Roller Coaster.
Time of Change 60s through 70s
Sixties Amusement Parks
The demise of the classic amusement park and the birth of a new breed, the theme park.
Sixties Wooden Coasters
The calm before the building storm begins again.
Theme Park Building Boom
John Allen and Kings Island make for a winning combination.
The start of the modern Looping Roller Coaster.
Decade of Innovation
Enter the Eighties
Wood was put aside for more variety in steel with the debut of stand up and suspended coasters.
Final years of the decade dominated with rides from Anton Schwarzkopf and Arrow.
Modern Day Scream Machines
Nineties Wooden Coasters
New wooden legends in the making.
Credits and Acknowledgements
Learn about the people who influenced the design and innovation of the Roller Coaster.
Harry G. Traver
A Legend... this designer is best known for his triplets of terror.
The inventor and innovator of today's modern Theme Park.
Philadelpia Toboggan Company
National Amusement Devices
Prior & Church
Erwin and Edward Vettel
Roller Coaster Timeline
Through the years an outline of significant milestones in roller coaster history.
Roller Coaster History series written by Adam Sandy exclusively for Ultimate Rollercoaster®.