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Landmarks of Coney Island

It all began with the buying of the intersection of Surf Avenue and West 10th Street by Jack and Irving Rosenthal. They invested $100,000, hired Vernon Keenan and Harry C. Baker and the building of the Coney Island Cyclone officially took off. Harry C. Baker supervised the construction that was carried out by a combination of the National Bridge Company, which supplied the steel, and the Cross-, Austin, & Ireland Company, which supplied the lumber. Harry C. Baker was previously in a joint partnership with John A. Miller in a company called company called Miller and Baker, Inc. By the time the Cyclone was built, Harry C. Baker formed his own company, Harry C. Baker Inc of New York.

The Coney Island Cyclone was finished in 1927. The tracks are made of wood with a steel foundation. It is 85 feet high, with the biggest drop also being 85 feet high. The angle of the drop has been measured to be 58.6 degrees, with top speeds reaching 60 miles per hour. The Cyclone is 2,640 feet long and each ride lasts a total of one minute and 50 seconds. The passenger count can be no more than 24 and no less than 3.

The designer of the ride is Vernon Keenan. The cyclone was his first creation and was followed by other roller coasters. These include the Blue Streak, the Atom Smasher, the Coaster, the Cinema Coaster, the Twister, and another Cyclone built in the New York Worlds Fair. The design used in the creation of the Cyclone was similarly recreated during the designing of the Comet. Vernon worked with Harry C. Baker but also later worked with Ackley, Bradley, and Day Company. Vernon Keenan’s father also built roller coasters. Keenan was the first to ride the coaster his father built for the Chicago World Fair. He got to test the ride along with some sandbags before the ride was opened to the public.

Building the cyclone was not a simple task. Although the Cyclone was not the first roller coaster, it was done on a small ground. This meant that the twists and turns had to be kept tight and steep to fit the lack of space. After Vernon Keenan designed the Cyclone, he helped work of the Comet. The Comet was a revised version of the Cyclone. Keenan helped Edward Leis in constructing the Comet, sharing the secrets of the design and making improvements based on what he viewed to be the shortcomings of the Cyclone. Keenan had a good imagination and the skills necessary for the building of roller coasters. His coasters were high in intensity, and caliber. The coasters he designed were more thrilling and more suitable for adults. These were the qualities sought after during the building of roller coasters.

Coney Island was not only the site of amusement. There is another monument that was first built for military purposes. The parachute jump at Coney Island was built in 1939 for the New York World’s Fair in Flushing Meadows Park, Queens. In 1941, it was relocated to its current location, in Coney Island. The parachute jump was originally designed to help train soldiers in in-air jumps. In the 1930s, the military focused on the use of airpower in the military and they needed an efficient way to train soldiers in in-air jumps.

The man behind this invention is Naval Air Commander James H. Strong. He had already retired when he patented his invention in August of 1936. His invention consisted of a strong steel tower base with electric moors to tow the chute up. It has eight guided cables, arranged in a circle around the chute. This helps prevent the jumper from coming in direct contact with the tower. Between 1936 and 1937 he built several versions of the design on his personal property in Hightstown, NJ.

James H. Strong did not foresee that his invention would also appeal to the general public. As time went on, many people, mostly motorists, would stop by the tower and ask to experience the thrills of jumping off. Strong was inspired by the popularity of the tower and adapted it for the average citizen. He incorporated shock absorbers at the bottom to prevent accidents. The seats were also made to accommodate two people. The size of the parachute changed from 24 feet to 32 feet in diameter.

Another landmark of Coney Island is the Wonder Wheel. The Wonder Wheel is the centerpiece of Astroland Park and stands across the street from the Cyclone. Built in 1920, it is 150 feet high, 140 feet in diameter and can sit 144 people at a time. The material used to build it was 100% Bethlehem Steel which was assembled at the site of construction. The Eccentric Ferris Wheel Company built the Wonder Wheel and the 18 original co-owners of the Wonder Wheel helped supervise the building of the wheel. The Wonder Wheel has a total of 32 cars, 16 swinging cars and eight stationary cars. It has a perfect safety record and is painted each year to protect against damages of the weather and other environmental factors.

The Wonder Wheel is known as an eccentric ferris wheel. Ferris wheels operate as a rotating upright wheel with passenger cars. The cars are attached in a way to keep them upright as the wheel turns. The cars of the ferris wheel are able to keep the passengers inside partly due to forces of gravity. Normally, the passenger cars are just attached to the rim of the wheel, but in eccentric ferris wheels, this is not the case. Since some of the cars are not stationary, they are attached to the hub while others are attached to the rim.

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