Amusement Ride Patents

Some time ago, I started looking for amusement ride patents. I actually encoded three of them into HTML; you can see them on this page. Then, IBM made patent drawings since 1974 available on the World Wide Web, and links to a few of those can be found below.

More recently, the United States Patent and Trademark Office has made the entire United States patent library available on the Web. By far the most comprehensive listing of amusement ride patents I've found was compiled by Victor Canfield, and is available through his Amusement Ride Patents page. Victor's listings are linked to the Patent and Trademark Office web archive, so that's a very good place to start.

Here are the patents that I have converted to HTML, including quite possibly the most important patent ever issued for a steel roller coaster.

The founding fathers of the modern steel roller coaster were unquestionably Karl Bacon and Ed Morgan. After all, they brought us the very first tubular steel coaster, the Matterhorn Bobsleds at Disneyland. Here is their patent, issued in 1963: It's right here.

One of my favorite flat rides is Norman Bartlett's Flying Coaster. To the best of my knowledge, the only one left is the Kangaroo at Kennywood Park near Pittsburgh. This patent is a later design for a slightly different ride, but it is the same general idea. No drawings yet, but those are coming Real Soon Now.

Of course one of the recently-popular rides is the Space Shot ride, where passengers are catapulted suddenly up a tower. Stan Checketts worked hard on making it work a few years ago. But you may be surprised to learn that the ride concept has been around much longer than that. Take a look at this page to see what amusement ride genius Lee Eyerly came up with, back in 1940! This is the same Lee Eyerly who founded the Eyerly Aircraft Company, and who, when he got out of the aircraft business, brought us the Loop-O-Plane, Roll-O-Plane, Rock-O-Plane, and Spider. I don't believe Eyerly ever built one of these tower rides, but he certainly had a suitable mechanism worked out...!

The following patents can be found on the Delphion Intellectual Property Network Patent Server. If your browser supports it, these links should open in a new window so that getting back here is simplified.

3,631,805 Amusement Device 01/04/1972
3,889,605 Amusement ride with a vehicle track portion following the shape of a helix 06/17/1975
3,904,194 Hydraulic actuated orbital amusement ride09/09/1975
4,005,877 Vehicle passenger restraint mechanism 02/01/1977
4,270,459 Chain-type ascent system for roller coaster 06/02/1981
5,272,984 Amusement ride of the roller coaster type 12/28/1993
5,715,756 Ride attraction anti-roll back system 02/10/1998
5,947,030 Amusement device in the form of a roller coaster, a monorail, or the like 09/07/1999

That's it for now! But watch for additions in the future!

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Last updated 11/21/2000.

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