What A Thrill!

The Roller Coaster

Inventors

John G. Taylor got the first patent for the Roller Coaster. La Marcus Thompson built the Switchback Railway at Coney Island and was considered the "father of the roller coaster."


  • Alanson Wood built the circular railway
  • Phillip Hinkle built the powered lift
  • Joseph P. Yearick built the gravity railroad
  • Charles Alcoke built the serpentine railway


Switchback R.R, Mauch Chunk by Robert N. Dennis. This image is for use in the public domain.


Thompson's Switchback Railway at Coney Island in 1884. This image is for use in the public domain.




Fun Facts!

  • The idea came from ice slides in Russia in the 16th and 17th centuries.
  • The French made them wax slides and added wheels to the carts.
  • The Mauch Chunk Railway became a scenic route for everyone who could pay.


1817- early Roller Coaster Promenades-Aeriennes Le-Bon-Genre by the French periodical Le Bon Genre. This image is for use in the public domain.