Amusement park rides from the early 20th century weren’t exactly known for their safety. But if this terrifying attraction from 1919 had ever been built, it probably would’ve been the most dangerous ride ever constructed.
Dreamt up by two New York inventors, this thing would obviously never fly in Disneyland. The idea? Thrill seekers would be strapped into pivoting chairs inside a capsule that looked like a gigantic bullet. Then that capsule would be shot out of an enormous cannon — an “electric gun” as they called it — only to land in what’s basically a 30m tall martini glass.
But it doesn’t end there. The capsule would splash down into the huge structure and zip through an enormous water flume, landing in a lake below. Guide rails and a conveyor belt would send the capsules back around to where they started, where riders could do the whole nauseating trick all over again — provided they had another quarter.
From the December 1919 issue of Electrical Experimenter magazine:
The illustration herewith shows a novel pleasure resort attraction devised by two New York inventors. Altho, at a first glance, it may seem impracticable to construct such a daring amusement contrivance as this, a little reflection will show that it is not so impossible at all.
In the circus we are used to seeing a person “loop-the-loop” or turn a somersault in mid-air while in an automobile, the vehicle and its passengers landing right side up on a properly inclined platform, down which it glides to earth. Our artillery experts can compute with extreme accuracy the trajectory of various projectiles, both large and small, and thus it should be quite possible, with the aid of modern mechanical engineering technique, to build one of these aerial passenger rocket amusements successfully. The gun out of which is the shell or rocket, with its human cargo is shot, may be operated by compressed air, by powder, or it may be an electromagnetic gun.
After the shell has sped thru the air, over the course indicated by the dotted lines, ti lands on a large cushion of water also, and upon striking the lagoon, it is guided back to the starting point by a link-belt as here illustrated. Electric cars of special type, seen at the left of the picture, carry the “rockets” back to the station, thence around to the gun breech, where a hydraulic plunger loads the carrier into the gun.
The idea for the ride was illustrated in the December 1919 issue of Electrical Experimenter magazine. But alas, much like the plan to turn the pyramids into an amusement park ride, it never got past the drawing board stage.
But I say we dust off the old plans and get to work! Frankly, I’ve seen worse ideas than this get funded at Kickstarter. And not only could those “I Survived XYZ Roller Coaster” t-shirts work as sweet fundraising rewards, they could finally be taken literally.
Pictures: Scanned from the December 1919 issue of Electrical Experimenter