One of the most thrilling things to do at a carnival to this very day is to ride the carnival rides. Do you remember the first one ride you rode as soon as you set foot on the midway? Carnival rides of the past brought thrilling magic to the midway.
Most of you have ridden carnival rides of the past that were invented long ago like the ferris wheel and merry go round like the ones we have on display at the Showmen’s Museum.
The first carnival rides, like the Rocky Road To Dublin were pulled by mule. You will find one of the Rocky Road To Dublin cars in the lobby of the Showmen’s Museum.
After mule power, carnival rides operated by steam engine. There was constant innovation, with new variations on ways to twist and spin passengers around, in an effort to thrill customers.
Carnival rides of the past had four basic principles they spun clockwise, counter clockwise, up and down, and a combination of all of them.
Now the trend is to have rides be more compact and easier to assemble saving time, manpower, and movability from place to place. Today’s carnival rides have to compete with much larger attractions in theme parks.
If you ever have a chance to look at up all of the ride patents it will amaze you at all the innovation and imagination that happened shortly before the turn of the century.