History

Construction History: Elephants At The Beach

The picture above is Lucy, an elephant-shaped building in Margate, New Jersey, near Atlantic City. Lucy is one of the few truly odd attractions from the early days of American seaside amusement parks to survive until now, and achieved a second fame over a century after construction. The important, and mildly unbelievable stats: constructed in …

Construction History: Elephants At The Beach Read More »

Construction History: Nothing New

In case you through that full 360-degree loops in roller coasters were modern, here’s Coney Island’s Loop the Loop in 1903. The warren-truss track supports are, in my opinion, absolutely beautiful. But I’m not seeing the kind of double rails or double wheels that modern loop tracks have, which would mean that the cars were …

Construction History: Nothing New Read More »

Broken Chains

The Statue of Liberty is, thanks to Emma Lazarus’s poem “The New Colossus,” mostly associated with immigration to the US. That’s fine, but it’s unfortunate that a different original meaning has been largely lost. In the words of William Evarts, the chair of the American Committee for the statue, speaking at the dedication of the …

Broken Chains Read More »

Construction History: Summer At The Beach, Part 4

A lot of engineering of various types has gone into making “the beach” into what we think of today. You can’t have a mass public presence at the beach with a way for people to get there, so to use Coney Island as an example, the West End, Culver, and Brighton Railroads were built, then …

Construction History: Summer At The Beach, Part 4 Read More »

Construction History: Summer At The Beach, Part 3

There’s an odd intersection of structural engineering and entertainment, and not just for amusement park rides. The picture above shows the Steel Pier in Atlantic City around 1904. It is one of the big amusement piers that are scattered around the world, usually at beach or resort towns. Piers, for the most part, are industrial …

Construction History: Summer At The Beach, Part 3 Read More »

Scroll to Top