April 13th was considered the 200th anniversary of the first roller coaster. These very simple early roller coasters were inspired by the ice slides of Russia.
It was “The Promenades-Aériennes” or “The Aerial Walk” in Paris. Passengers walked up a set of stairs to ride a bench down the 600-foot track at 40 mph. – NPR
I joined NPR’s afternoon radio show All Things Considered to give my take. You can listen to the interview or read the transcript here: 200 Years Ago, The Word’s First Rollercoaster Debuted In Paris
Early Roller Coasters
I didn’t expect the focus of the interview to be on how dangerous some of the early roller coasters were, but I did want to share one major way that the roller coasters of today differ than those from 100 years ago. As designers tried to experiment with early looping coasters and extreme elements, safety wasn’t always a key consideration. More on early looping coasters here: National Roller Coaster Day Celebrates Patent of First Loop
What’s Your Take?
What do you think of the 200th anniversary of the first roller coaster? Leave a comment below.