- This event has passed.
On this day in 1884, the first American roller coaster opened on Coney Island in Brooklyn, New York
June 16, 2022
An event every year that begins at 12:00 am on day 16 of June, repeating indefinitely
On this day in 1884, the first American roller coaster opened on Coney Island in Brooklyn, New York. This early roller coaster, called the “switchback railway”, used gravity to its advantage, taking riders downwards from an elevated tower at the exhilarating speed of 6 mph. 🎢 🎢 🎢 The one-minute ride was wildly popular and cost only a nickel.
Did you know? The roller coaster’s designer, LaMarcus Thompson, was inspired by the Mauch Chunk Gravity Railway in Pennsylvania, a prototype roller coaster ride originally created to carry loads of coal down from the mountains.
Coney Island, Edward Henry Potthast, c. 1914