Coney Island - Loop The Loop

Kick The Sky's avatar

One of the websites I frequent is called They offer high resolution pictures from pictures taken from the civil war up until about the early sixties. The comments on some of the pictures alone are worth checking this site out every day.

Today they posted a very awesome picture of the Loop The Loop taken in 1903. Here is the link. You can click on hi-res to get a higher resolution version of the picture. It is a very clear picture of the ride and something I thought I would share with the coasterbuzz community.

EDIT: The link goes right to the high res pic.

Last edited by Kick The Sky,

Certain victory.

Lord Gonchar's avatar

I love the "Beware Of Pickpockets" sign.

Yeah, why don't they have those signs anymore? Is pickpocket a dead occupation?

How about the woman in the hat to the left holding her gloved hand to her cheek? You just know she's saying "Holy S***!"

I wonder how many injuries that thing caused.

Coaster Junkie from NH
I drive in & out of Boston, so I ride coasters to relax!

LostKause's avatar

I find the design of the track interesting, especially the upstops that are only installed through the loop.

Thanks for sharing. I've seen photos of this ride in a few books.

Lord Gonchar's avatar


From URC:

Sadly, the public was more inclined to watch than ride. The Loop-the-Loop limped along until World War One, making money by charging people admission to the viewing area. Many more paid to watch than to ride and the coaster faded into bankruptcy.

I wonder if the people who couldn't access the viewing area felt like they were being ripped off by those who could pay to watch? ;)

LostKause's avatar

I want to respond, Gonch, but this thread is kind of interesting. Maybe after it gets boring, I'll bite.

Lord Gonchar's avatar

A photo, 2 comments on the pickpocket sign, a random inquiry of possible injuries and your upstop observation is the kind of thread that shouldn't go off topic?

Heh. Ok.

The jab was just an afterthought, the real point of my post was indeed the info from the URC article. Funny that people weren't really into the ride.

DantheCoasterman's avatar

So, that a steel loop?


rollergator's avatar

Yes. Here's something weird I found linking thru rcdb (OK, but I know I'm not the only one who does it!)

Prescott built four Loop-the-Loops....three steel, one wood.

I also liked this quote from one of the comments below the picture. From the NY Times, July 28, 1901.

Temporary Injunction Against Police Interference Secured
Ex-District Attorney Foster L. Backus yesterday obtained from JusticeHooker, in the Supreme Court, Brooklyn, an order directing PoliceCommissioner Murphy to show cause tomorrow why the police should notbe permanently restrained from interfering with the operation of theamusement enterprise known as the "Loop the Loop," at Coney Island,which was stopped a few days ago by Deputy Commissioner York, on theground that it was dangerous. ...
A mass of affidavits was presented to the court to show that manythousands of persons had taken the trip on the Loop the Loop withoutany having received personal injuries.

Interesting that politicians and/or police in that era could just take matters into their own hands and close down amusements they felt were unsafe, based on ? I guess contrary to what we think now, they really did believe amusement parks wanted to kill their patrons, and the market would not weed out bad rides on its own.

I dunno. That thing looks very painful to me. I bet that loop pulled a heck of a lot more gees than a modern clothoid inversion.

My author website:

From the URC article linked above:

Lina Beecher created The Flip Flap Railway and built it in Boyton's Sea Lion Park. It featured a circular loop that pulled up to twelve g's and had a habit of snapping rider's necks. There are conflicting dates as to when this coaster opened, some sources say as early as 1888, others dated the opening around 1895. Either way, the coaster is heralded as the first to successfully go upside down since the looping coaster in France's Frascati Garden.

Edwin Prescott's Loop-the-Loop was built at West 10th Avenue, Coney Island in 1901. The ride showcased engineering that greatly improved on the Flip Flap. The track was made of steel, the loop was larger, but most importantly it was an ellipse which pulled relatively few g's and provided a safe ride.

More info in this article, which is an excellent description and history of every coaster that operated at any of the Coney parks. Loop the Loop is #12, while the Flip Flap is #5.

Oh. Looking at it again, I see now that the loop is indeed ellipsoid. Before, I merely assumed the inversion looked pinched because of the angle at which the photo was taken.

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rollergator's avatar

^^RGB, thanks for that link. Already wasted almost an hour looking over that... ;)

janfrederick's avatar

I'd like to see the entire layout. I'd imagine the ride was pretty uneventful after the loop.

"I go out at 3 o' clock for a quart of milk and come home to my son treating his body like an amusement park!" - Estelle Costanza

Yeah, probably just some horribly painful rosebowl. Good thing they shut it down.

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rollergator's avatar

Pretty sure the loop WAS the layout. Basicallly, drop in, loop, go to other side. An Arrow shuttle before its time.

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