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The American Roller Coaster [Hardcover]

Scott Rutherford

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 156 pages
  • Publisher: Motorbooks International (23 May 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0760306893
  • ISBN-13: 978-0760306895
  • Product Dimensions: 26.3 x 26.2 x 1.9 cm
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,812,638 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


Rutherford (of the entertainment industry publication Amusement Today ) depicts the history of this grandest amusement park fixture with the enthusiasm of an enthralled, life-long coaster fan. He provides a chronological history of coaster technology and the cultural milieux in which they succeeded or failed, as well as describing how they work, th

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
The actual origin of the modern roller coaster has been debated among amusement park historians and coaster enthusiasts for decades. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.6 out of 5 stars  12 reviews
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A "must" for all roller coaster buffs & enthusiasts! 4 Aug 2000
By Midwest Book Review - Published on
An excellent and unusual title providing insights into American pastimes and interests, Scott Rutherford's American Roller Coaster covers the ups and downs of roller coaster history, pairing a clear text history with color photos and illustrations of coasters from 1900 to modern times. The history and evolution covers construction as well as roller coaster styles and development.
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars WOW! What a Ride! 28 Jun 2000
By Robert M. Ulrich - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This is a GREAT BOOK! Much better than I ever imagined!
Scott takes the reader on a ride from the early beginnings all the way through to modern LIM marvels, including concept drawings for SOB, Lightning Racer and Thrust Air.
The words tell the history in precise detail. This is the first coaster book I've read that wasn't riddled with small annoying errors. The writing is complete yet concise. I especially enjoy the special feature writings that supplement the major text. Discussions about such things racing coasters, coaster "mutants" (Virginia Reels), mad mice, and more are the enjoyable reading as sidelines that are included to really try to explain the roller coaster in wonderful detail.
But the thing that blew me away were the pictures. Tons and tons of pictures of lots of obscure coasters from the past. Every shape, model and style of coaster is illustrated, with lots of side-bar features supplimenting the main text.
The chapters have great titles that really preview what's inside: 1. Humble Beginnings, America Goes Coasting: 1880s -1920 2. The Golden Years, The Roller Coaster Comes of Age: 1920-1940 3. Nuts and Bolts, How Coasters Work 4. Postwar Coastering, A Lull Before the Storm: 1945-1972 5. The Coaster Renaissance, Steel Coasters Blossom; Wood Coasters Rebound 6. New Age Coastering, Now and Beyond.
Excellent pictures, packed with history and information. This is a definite keeper up there with Carmell's book.
From the cover picture of Adventureland's "Tornado" to the frontpiece's detail from the Lakeside "Cyclone" through Chapter 1's opening picture of West Views "Dips" to S&S's "Thrust Air 2000" every page of this book is wonderful. Thank you Scott.
I know this book will be on the bedstand for a long while this summer.
19 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good Roller Coaster Reference 29 Mar 2001
By Nathan A. Unterman - Published on
Other reviewers have given a good overview of this book. I will go into some detail on Chapter 3:Nuts and Bolts -- How Coasters Work. Rutherford begins by talking about materials used in the basic structure. His section on the evolution of tracking is excellent. Most readers will be surprised to learn about the side-friction coaster. This is a rare beast, and to my knowledge, this is the only easily available documentation available about it.
The wood track structure is well explained along with cross sectional diagrams of how the carriages (trains) are attached to the track/structure. Rutherford finishes this part with a discussion on standard bent construction for the structure.
In the next part of this chapter, the discussion continues with steelie coasters, track fabrication and wheel assemblies. Propulsion, lift chain, anti-rollback devices, other safety devices, brakes, zone blocking, restraints, etc. are wonderful background information for the teacher who wants to take their class to the amusement park for a science field trip.
The chapter ends with the nature of teh ride and what is involved in creating one of these machines. The difference between an track plan and profile are clearly illustrated.
Good addition to the library.
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars AMERICAN ROLLER COASTER 20 July 2000
By RALPH VASQUEZ - Published on
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Book Overall 15 Mar 2002
By B. Downey - Published on
This is a very good book if you want a look back to the predecessors of today's coasters. The coverage is very thorough and informative. The coasters covered range from early 1900's to many of today. The photos are simply great -- they made the book wonderful (though the text could easily support itself). If you like coasters, this is the book for you.
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