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1884- Coney Island NY us 1st roller coaster

June 16, 2022

LaMarcus Thompson's Cyclone was first opened to the public on June 26, 1927, 4 decades after its invention. The iconic Cyclone, situated on the corner of West 10th Street and Surf Avenue, is one of the country's oldest and still functional amusement rides. Anyone who visits Coney Park has to ride this historic rollercoaster.

Brothers Irving and Jack Rosenthal developed the concept for the Cyclone project. They purchased land in Coney Island and hired the services of renowned roller coaster designer Vernon Keenan to execute the project. Keenan operated using formulas and concepts developed by LaMarcus Thompson. Thompson earned the reputation of being the "Father of Gravity” due to the success of the Cyclone.

At the time of its inception, it cost a quarter to ride. Today, visitors are required to pay $10 for a ride. The roller coaster moves at 97km/h and takes visitors over 27 elevation changes and 12 drops in approximately 2 minutes. The track is 2640 feet long and has a maximum height of 85 feet. LaMarcus designated it to operate at a maximum capacity of 1440 rides per hour to ensure that the Cyclone was safe.

It cost $175,000 to build the Cyclone – that’s nearly $3 million in today’s dollars! Luckily for Thompson, some of the costs were financed by the state government since it was perceived as a potential business opportunity.


  1. Sandra A LaCroix

    I enjoyed reading that because it was very interesting.

    • Nora Branham

      This is very interesting, I remember as a child going to New York to ride on the roller coaster in Coney island. I only did it once because I was too scared. it was fast and too high for me as a child.

  2. Ricky

    Never rode the Coney Cyclone, but we had the Cyclone here in southern kalifornia at the Pike in Long Beach.
    Was my very favorite ride in the 60’s till it’s closing. It’s missed. (Oh, it too cost 25¢)

  3. E. Moore

    Very, very interesting.

  4. John Galileo

    I’ve been on that wonderful coaster many times as a child and always enjoyed the thrill

  5. Luis romero

    yes very interesting but should have use a real picture of the rollcoaster


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