Roller coasters Information

The roller coaster is a popular amusement ride developed for amusement parks and modern theme parks. LaMarcus Adna Thompson patented the first coasters on January 20, 1885. In essence a specialized railroad system, a roller coaster consists of a track that rises in designed patterns, sometimes with one or more inversions that turn the rider briefly upside down. The track does not necessarily have to be a complete circuit, as shuttle roller coasters exhibit. Most roller coasters have multiple cars in which passengers sit and are restrained. Two or more cars hooked together are called a train. Some roller coasters, notably Wild Mouse roller coasters, run with single cars.

The oldest roller coasters are believed to be descended from the so-called "Russian Mountains," which were specially constructed hills of ice, located especially around Saint Petersburg. Built in the 17th century, the slides were built to a height of between 70 and 80 feet , consisted of a 50 degree drop, and were reinforced by wooden supports. "Russian mountains" remains the term for roller coasters in many languages.

Some historians say the first real roller coaster was built under the orders of Russia's Catherine the Great in the Gardens of Oreinbaum in Saint Petersburg in the year 1784. Other historians believe that the first roller coaster was built by the French. The Les Montagnes Russes à Belleville constructed in Paris in 1812 and the Promenades Aeriennes both featured wheeled cars securely locked to the track, guide rails to keep them on course, and higher speeds.

Wikipedia, Roller coasters, (as of Apr 6, 2010)

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