Wheel Inspection

wonder wheel

Throwback Thursday photo of the Wonder Wheel on May 28, 1952: NYC elevator/ride inspector Alexander “Mac” McIntyre and Freddy Garms of the Wonder Wheel “ride on top of one of the cars to check the working of the ride,” says the original caption. AP photo/Robert Kradin 

Deno’s Wonder Wheel Amusement Park


Back on the Switchback Railway


Coney’s Island’s Switchback Railway was America‘s first roller coaster.  Designed by LaMarcus Adna Thompson in 1881, constructed in 1884, Thompson may have based his design on the Mauch Chunk Switchback Railway; a coal-mining train that, in 1827, was turned into a amusement ride.

A ride on the SR cost five cents. The stately dressed crowds of summers long ago would ascend a tower, be seated in bench-like cars, and pushed off to coast along at over 6 mph (9.7 km/h) along a 600 ft (183 m) track to another tower at the far end. Upon arriving at this other tower the vehicle was switched to a return track… or “switched back” (hence the name).

This track design was soon replaced with an oval complete-circuit ride designed by Charles Alcoke and called the Serpentine Railway. In 1885 Phillip Hinkle developed a lift system which appeared in his ride called Gravity Pleasure. The Gravity Pleasure also featured cars in which the passengers could face forward instead of in the awkward bench-like seats of the first two roller coasters.


Elephant Hoofing at Dumbo


Dancing elephants — along with clowns and unicyclists — paid a visit to [DUMBO] Brooklyn Wednesday.

See more photos here: http://bit.ly/YrSoTL

Like Bumping Your Ass Off, Man

Also revving up for Coney Island‘s Opening Day: Eldorado Auto Skooter now operated by our friend Gordon Lee.  In the Coney Island History Project‘s Oral History Archive, you can listen to an interview with Sheila Buxbaum Fitlin, whose family started the Eldorado and first came to Coney in the 1930’s: http://goo.gl/ypW2B 

This video from last season is by amusement park “cygnus122”

Coney Island Project

Resourcefully Contained


After spending years fighting gentrification in Williamsburg a couple decided to make their own house instead of paying inflated housing rates.

The catch? The three-story house is made of shipping containers.

read more: DNAinfo–photo gallery

You have to admire the resourcefulness of some people. Nowadays, when the going gets tough they invariably come up with quite creative responses to their difficulties. Just when I thought that abandoned warehouses were the ultimate in new age domiciles, shipping containers are now in vogue. What’s next? Perhaps clever residences strewn along abandoned shipyards.


via Facebook.

Scratch Up a Cat’s Meow


The Cat Scratch from SUCK UK is a cardboard turntable scratching pad. It even comes with stickers, a spinning deck and a posable tone arm. via  Cat Scratch – The Awesomer

A sure-fire gift for the cat in one’s life who has everything. In fact, it looks so adorably peculiar that my wife is thinking of getting me one.

The Once and Future Upwardly Mobile


Ah, Manhattan in the good old days; an anxious time of crowded mobility that has ascended down to the present time. Always good to see that our forbearers never failed to appreciate a good joke; laughing at the progressive aspects of living in the fast lane.

Nevertheless, my world-weary but fast Ford Mustang would absolutely refuse to get into a contraption like that. My motorized pony would go Christine on me; causing death, havoc, and similar inconvenience to everyone and everything in her path.

Photo: Global Informer.