January 20, 1885: the Gravity Pleasure Switchback Railway Patent

1885 – Sounding like anything but a roller coaster, the Gravity Pleasure Switchback Railway was the first American designed amusement coaster designed by LaMarcus Adna Thompson. Only 5 cents to ride, the Switchback was a simple coaster that took you about 600 feet to the next tower at six miles per hour. It had a height of 50 feet and a drop of 43 feet. It opened on June 16, 1884 and eventually was replaced. But on this day, the roller coaster saw one of its first patents from this ride. Learn more about Patents: Ingenious Inventions, How they work and How they...

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