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Ultimate Rollercoaster > Roller Coasters > History > Bibliography



Adams, Judith A. The American Amusement Park Industry: A History of Technology & Thrills. Twayne Publishers: Boston, MA, 1991. - This book is one of the best (and only) books on the history of the amusement industry as a whole. Besides being interesting it is also very well written and not "dumbed down" as many books on amusement parks seem to be.

Alvey, Robb & Sarah. Theme Park Review. July 2000. - Robb & Sarah have created one of the best amusement park sites on the 'net. If you are planning on taking a trip to any park in the United States, take a look through their amazing photo collection.

America Screams. Directed by Scott Campbell. 30 minutes. Rhino Home Video, 1990. Videocassette - The production date is 1990...but the video was definitely filmed in the late seventies. It is hosted by Vincent Price and has a great POV ride of Mr. Twister & an interview with the wooden revivalist John Allen.

America's Greatest Roller Coaster Thrills. Directed by Ned Rodgers. 60 minutes. Goldhill Media Home International, 1994. Videocassette. - All three of these are well-known to the coaster community. All I can say is that these videos have some great POV footage of some very famous coasters, but they insist on using worthless filters on the two later films (ruining the on-ride footage) and the first one has the two most annoying people to ever host a tv program.

America's Greatest Roller Coaster Thrills Vol. 2. Directed by Mark Morris. 75 Minutes. Goldhill Media Home International, 1996. Videocassette.

America's Greatest Roller Coaster Thrills The Next Generation. Directed by Ned Rodgers. 70 minutes. Goldhill Media Home International, 1999. Videocassette.

Amusement Park Books. Euclid Beach Park is Closed for the Summer. Amusement Park Books, Inc.: Fairview Park, OH, 1977. A nice look at this lost gem of an amusement park.


Baldwin, Tim. "Holiday World adds another coaster Legend." Amusement Today. June, 2000: 11-14.

Barker, Stan. "Paradises Lost." Chicago Historical Society. March, 1995: 26-49. An interesting article about long-gone parks in the Chicago area. This is the first work I read that said Boyton opened an amusement park before the one at Coney Island. A unique and engaging read into amusement park history.

Barrick, Jim. John A. Miller: Roller Coaster Designer and Builder. July 2000. - This was one of the first roller coaster sites I visited on the Internet and in many ways still one of the best. Jim Barrick has put a lo t of time and research into this wonderful site, which documents the life of John Miller.

Bennett, David. Roller Coaster: Wooden & Steel Coasters, Twisters and Corkscrews. Chartwell Books: Edison, NJ, 1998. Although there are a few picture & caption problems, overall the book is very well written, has some good pictures and a great section on Herb Schmeck.

Biggerstaff, Dan. Coasterdan's Park. July 2000.

Bradbury, Neil. Although I did not cite Neil directly, there is almost certainly something in here, which he has told me. Neil is one of those people who posses insane amounts of coaster information within their head. Whenever anyone on "Coaster-Talk" does not know the answer to some detailed question on coaster history, Neil always comes up with it. I want to thank this man for all of the coaster information he has shared with so many people and I can only wonder how he learned so much amazing stuff!


Carryl, Guy Wetmore. "Marvelous Coney Island." Munsey's Magazine. September, 1901: 809-817.

The Carousel Network. July 2000. - It is quite simple, if you want a lot of information on carousels go here.

Cartmell, Robert. The Incredible Scream Machine. Amusement Park Books, Inc.: Fairview, OH, 1987. There are so many things I could say about this book. In a nutshell, this book is the most comprehensive sources you will find on the history of the roller coaster. Cartmell has talked to almost everyone who was responsible for the roller coaster becoming the popular ride it is today. This is the book you need to begin your coaster collection with.

Childs, Bill. "What Happens When Thrills Become Injuries? The Legal Issues Surrounding Amusement Parks." World of Coasters July 2000. - Bill Childs was a great help in helping me learn about safety, liability and other problems parks face in the legal arena when it comes to roller coaster accidents and injuries. Both of the articles he has written for are very insightful, detailed and provide a great example of how the Internet can help spread worthwhile information.

Coker, Robert. Thrillride! July 2000. - Robert's site is one of the most professional out there. The pictures and layout are some of the best to be found on the Internet and his reviews and previews made my research a lot easier.

Coney Island: a documentary film. Directed by Ric Burns & Written by Richard Snow. 1 hr. 8 minutes. Direct Cinema Limited, 1991. Videocassette. - I LOVE this documentary. In fact, I watched it so many times that the tape I first had broke & I had to buy a new one. This truly was a labor of love for historian, and American Heritage editor, Richard Snow. The story of Coney is full of colorful, creative and downright weird people, all of whom combine into a tale that is timeless.

Conniff, Richard. "Coasters used to be Scary, Now They're Downright Weird." Smithsonian v20.n5. August 1989. 82-93. I could not find a year for this article, if you have it please e-mail me. It has great interviews with Bill Cobb & Ron Toomer.

Cooper, Gary. "The World that was at Western and Belmont." Chicago Tribune Magazine. May 16, 1976: 18-30. - This was written at a time of transition for the Chicago area. Riverview was still a very real thing to the people of Chicago, and they were not sure how their memories would be manifested in Marriott's new Great America park, opening that same year. The article is a great trip down memory lane for those of us who only wish we could have seen the Kingdom of Magic.


Ducharme, Jay. "History Question." E-mail to the author. 7/17/2000. - Jay is another one of those people I have gone to many times for coaster-related questions or help. He has shared a lot of information with me and I cannot begin to emphasize how much Jay has worked to answer all of those "little detail" questions and give me answers which you cannot just "look up." Also, if you need to know anything about Mountain Park, I know no other person who knows SO much about that (sadly) long-gone place of fun.


Euclid Beach Park Nuts. July 2000. - These guys are helping to keep the memory and sprit of the once-great Cleveland park alive and have been instrumental in getting the carousel refurbished. Make a donation to allow other generations the luxury of the Euclid Beach Carousel.

Extreme Machines: Roller Coaster. Directed by Mark Everest. 60 minutes. Pioneer Productions. Videocassette.

Extreme Rides 2000. Directed by Kiku Lani Iwata. 2000. Videocassette.


Fritz, Mark. "Park Ride Patrons Are Guinea Pigs In Safety Matters." St. Louis Post-Dispatch. October 13, 1996: 16D.


Great Coasters International. July 2000.

The History of Coney Island. July 2000. - This article was written by the president of NAPHA (The National Amusement Park Historical Association) for the Coney Island, Cincinnati, website.

Gargiulo, Vince. Palisades Amusement Park: A Century of Fond Memories. Rutgers University Press: New Brunswick, NJ, 1997. - A wonderful trip back in time at the park which stood for many years over the cliffs of Fort Lee, NJ.

Gieszl, Eric. Ultimate Rollercoaster. July 2000. - Eric's site has proved an invaluable resource to me. The roller coaster yellow pages are chock full of information and always load. But, the biggest help he provided was allowing me to meet some the best-informed people I have met. The information I have gleaned from the message board is stuff not written down in any book or on any video. It is knowledge, which can only come from roller coaster experts.

The Great Escape: information from the park pro vided by Mark Bardack.The Great Escape. July 2000. - The Great Escape is obviously proud of the niche they have carved into the amusement industry with the resurrection of the Comet. This showed in the quick way the park thoroughly responded to my request for information.


Hart, Lance. Screamscape. July 2000. - Lance repeatedly has the best amusement park news site to be found anywhere. You do not need to subscribe to Amusement Business, just check out Lance's site on a regular basis. You will never be left in the dark, learn a thing or two and the info will get to you faster than if you subscribed to any publication.

Holiday World: Information from the park provided by Paula Werne. July 2000. - Paula Werne, public relations, is the type of person that every public relations directors should strive to be. Holiday World is known for having some of the friendliest employees in the business and Paula works at leading the way for the company. She helped me every step of the way by providing tons of information, pictures, and always writing, "if you need more, just ask" at the end of every note. I cannot say enough about this park and Paula in particular. It is clear that she and everyone at Holiday World are proud of the wonderful place they have, and rightfully so. If there is just one park you need to visit for atmosphere, coasters and food [especially fudge!], get down to Santa Claus, Indiana. With people like Paula at the helm, this park will only continue to be arguably the best family park in the country.


Sharing Walt's Dream: An Unofficial Guide to Disneyland. September, 1995.

Kasson, John F. Amusing the Million: Coney Island at the Turn of the Century. Hill and Wang: New York, NY, 1978. - This book is an interesting socio-economic analysis of Coney Island's rise in the repressive Victorian era.

Kennywood: information from the park provided by Mary Lou Rosenmeyer. July 2000. - Kennywood is proud of its rich tradition as one of a handful of amusement parks that have been designated National Historic Landmarks. Mary Lou Rosenmeyer is an example why the park has a reputation as one of the best traditional p arks in the country. She was very helpful and got me all of the information I needed-and more. Kennywood is one of those parks which has achieved that perfect balance of modern thrill rides, classic rides which are museum-worthy and three of the best-maintained wooden coasters on the planet. Going to Kennywood is like stepping back in time and seeing a glimpse of what Riverview, Palisades, Euclid Beach, West View Park and so many others were like. It is amazing that the park has survived in an era where traditional parks are often bulldozed under for strip malls and investors seem to feel that comic book characters and acres of asphalt are the only necessary ingredients to a good park. Kennywood is a fixed point in changing age and the millions of happy memories created there are the reasons you smile back upon childhood.

Knoebels Amusement Resort. July 2000. - The citizens of Pennsylvania are truly blessed. On one side of the state is Kennywood, on the eastern side is Knoebels Amusement Resort set in the hills of Elysburg, Pennsylvania. The ride collection here is exquisite, as they have rescued many traditional rides from other parks and given them a new life in the woods. The park took the time to get old dark rides cars when they created their in-house Haunted House in the early seventies, brought an entire coaster, The Phoenix, across the country in 1984, obtained two classic carousels and used the plans to the abandoned John Allen classic for their 1998 Twister. Aside from obtaining old rides, the park takes amazing care of them. The coasters always run like they are brand new and give rides smoother than steel coasters found at many big themers. After my first visit I was astounded and still believe that this park, not the rodent castle in Florida, is truly the kingdom of magic.

Koenig, David. Mouse Tales: A Behind the Scenes Look at Disneyland. Bona venture Press: Irvine, CA, 1994. - This is a fun little book with "insider" secrets about Disneyland, from its troubled opening to the present. The only downside is that it reads as if it was written at sixth-grade level.

Kyriazi, Gary. The Great American Amusement Parks. Citadel Press: Secaucus, NJ, 1976. - I first checked this book out in fifth grade and was so enamored with it that I kept the book a full two weeks beyond the due date. Although out of print, the book can be easily found and is a fun read because of the countless pictures Kyriazi obtained. I pored over this book for hours looking at the pictures of the Crystal Beach Cyclone and would talk about the Coney Island chapter with my grandmother Sandy for hours on end while we rode together on car trips.


Lacey, Nicholas T. July 2000. - A nice site put together by a school group about the revival of the oldest coaster in the world.

Lawrence, Dave. The Thriller: The Best Thriller Ride on Earth! July 2000.

Lawrence, Dave. The Bat Resource Page. July 2000. - Dave Lawrence has assembled information not found in any book or newspaper. His site chronicles the short-lived Bat at King's Island. It is chock full of information and one of the few places which gives an honest and detailed account of this legendary coaster. People like Dave help keep coaster history alive, because this is information which would be forgotten and muddled over time if he did not take the time to write it down and share it with us.

Le Gallienne, Richard. "Human Need of Coney Island." The Cosmopolitan. July, 1905: 239-246. - A fun article written from the eyes of a visitor to Coney Island during its heyday.


Mangels, William F. The Outdoor Amusement Industry. 1952. - This is one of the earliest histories of the amusement industry, written by a man who created the Whip, carousels, the tickler and many standard rides in the traditional amusement park. He worked to remember the other greats in the industry, while never recognizing that he, himself, was one of the greatest innovators and inventors it has seen.

McCown, Davis. Park Times. July 2000.

McKenzie, Mark. The Trip Report. July 2000. - Every time I get ready for a trip to a park I always check out Mark's great site. It has ride recommendations, food tips and great pictures, which get you ready and informed for your journey.

Mega Machines: Wild Rides. Produced by Erik Nelson. 1991. 60 minutes. Termite Art Productions. Videocassette.

Melago, Tim. Tim Melago's Directory of Amusement Park & Roller Coaster Links. July 2000. - Tim's site is known as one of the most comprehensive on the 'net. This site has saved me hours as most every coaster & park site of note is listed here.

Modern Marvels: Roller Coasters - The Search for the Ultimate Thrillride. Executive Producer: Bob Jafe. 1997. Jafe Productions. Videocassette.

Moyer, John R. "Ten Years after the Phoenix-A Bona-Phide Phenomenon or Just a Phablous Phall Phunfest."

Moyer, John R. "The Phoenix." - I feel truly blessed to have talked to, and read these articles by, John Moyer. He was deeply involved in the move of the Rocket roller coaster (now the Phoenix), from Playland Park in San Antonio to Knoebels in Pennsylvania. He is that rare combination of someone who has made roller coaster history and a very nice person who happily shares his experience and knowledge with others. The first-hand insight and information he shared with me was invaluable and helped to provide that inside information I needed to give life to my description of the Phoenix's move. I am very thankful that I got to know John and learn all of the "little things" he knows about this amazing coaster and the park it resides in.

Munch, Richard. Harry G. Traver: Legends of Terror. Amusement Park Books: Fairview Park, OH, 1982. - This is another of those books on my shelf which has almost all of the corners bent and a spine which was broken long ago. You will not find a publication which has more pictures of Harry Traver's demented coasters, plus it is a book you can curl up with for hours on end.


Nelson, Robin. "Terror on wheels-by design." Popular Mechanics.


O'Brien, Tim. The Amusement Park Guide. The Globe Pequot Press: Chester, CN, 1991. - The book is the best park guide out there. If you see it, buy it, end of discussion.

Onosko, Tim. Funland, U.S.A. Ballantine Books: New York, NY, 1978. - This book is out of publication, but one of those you should pick it up if you see it. Onosko has assembled a hodge-podge of rare articles and interviews, talks with Intamin, John Allen, Randell Duell and many others. The second half of the book is a guide to parks in the U.S.


Paine, Albert Bigelow. "The New Coney Island." Century Magazine. August, 1904: 528-538.

Palisades Amusement Park Historical Society. July 2000. - This group has put together a great site and you can buy Vince Gargiulo's book here.

Patenburg, Michael. Schwarzkopf Coaster Net. July 2000. - Michael has put together a website which is nothing short of breathtaking. He has immortalized the master, Anton Schwarzkopf, and helped to ensure the memory and love of Anton's rides will always be with us. Almost every facet of Anton's coaster and ride inventory is listed here. Simply put, the site is an invaluable resource for a roller coaster historian. Michael has been a great help to me, especially when I needed information about the Mindbender accident.

Peterson, Gordon. New Mr. Freeze Roller Coasters July 2000.

Playland: Then and Now. Westchester, NY: Westchester County, 1985.

Powerful Persuasion by Howard L. Nations. July 2000.

Premier Rides. July 2000.

Putz, Jeff. Guide to the Point. July 2000. - Jeff has assembled a great wealth of information on Cedar Point. If you are considering visiting Cedar Point, check out his website first. Everything about the Point is listed here, from coasters to hotels to history, which makes for a fun & educational site.


Roller Coaster Database. July 2000. - The Roller Coaster Database has info. and pics on most any coaster out there.

Roller Coaster Weekend 1. Directed by Roy Brashears. Videocassette. 84 minutes.

Roller Coaster Weekend 2. Directed by Roy Brashears. Videocassette. 105 minutes. - I think these are the two best coaster videos ever made. They have p.o.v. and off-ride footage of many defunct coasters and it allows you to take a trip across in the country in only a few hours.


S&S Power. July 2000. - Stan Checketts has revolutionized the amusement industry with his rides. This man is wonderfully twisted, be sure to check out the pics of him standing on top of his shot/drop rides, especially the Space Shot perched atop the Stratosphere Tower in Vegas. His Thrust Air 2000 revolutionized the industry with its unique design, launch, tires and restraints. With Stan at the helm of designing thrill rides, we know they will be wonderfully demented, a little evil and for someone who is scared of heights some of the most thrilling rides people will ever ride.

Sann, Paul. July 2000.

Siegel, Alan A. Smile: A Pictorial History of Olympic Park. American Impressions: Plainfield, NJ, 1983. - This book is about an oft-overlooked park. Filled with contributions from people all over the area, tons of pictures and numerous newspaper articles this is a fun trip back in time.

Slade, Gary and Mary Wyatt. "Twenty Questions with Arrow Chairman Ron Toomer." Inside Track. November, 1994: 3.

Snow, Richard. Coney Island: A Postcard Journey to the City of Fire. Brightwaters Press: New York, NY, 1989. - The love Richard Snow has for Coney Island shines through as he shares stories, anecdotes and postcards from his collection in my favorite Coney Island book. Snow has the amazing ability to write as a historian while keeping your interest alive throughout the entire work.

Styer, Joel W. Defunct Amusement Parks. July 2000.


The Terror Technicians. Executive Producer: Richard Key. 1995. 60 minutes. Discovery Channel Europe. Videocassette.


Urbanowicz, Steven J. The Roller Coaster Lover's Companion. Carol Publishing Group: Secaucus, N.J., 1997.


Wlodarczyk, Chuck. Riverview: Gone but not Forgotten, 1904-1967. Riverview Publications: Chicago, IL, 1977.

Unofficial Worlds of Fun Web Site. July 2000. -This web site gave me some of the few details and pictures I was able to gleam about the "Scream Roller" at Worlds of Fun.

White, David. Unofficial Arrow Dynamics Coaster Page. July 2000.- David has done a thorough job documenting the history of Arrow, although it curiously does not mention the failed Stand-ups or the Bat.

Wyatt, Mark. "Holiday World Marks 50th Anniversary with Wooden Thriller." Inside Track. September, 1994: 4,7.

Wyatt, Mark. "Inside Track Spotlights: Vekoma." Inside Track. November, 1992:15

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