The weekly news update featuring First Roller Coaster in America Opens
To all North Pole City Elves, those in Santa's Village, in the Lower 48 and all around the world, this is your weekly update for the week of June 13, 2022. I'm your host Walter "Mistletoe" Livingstone and I'm your co-host, Becky "Marshmallow" Livingstone, Let's go to press.
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SPECIAL NOTICE FROM SANTA'S VILLAGE: Santa has put out a special request to the entire Assembly of Legendary Figures to come to the North Pole for an Emergency Meeting. All we know is that the notice and alert has been made. We do not have any information what the meeting is about, but have an idea that it is related to the security briefing that Santa received last week.
Edward Hinklemyer has ordered extra security for the North Pole City Hotel as all of the Legendary Figures will be arriving this week for a special meeting with Santa. This normally signifies some major announcement coming soon; especially when an emergency meeting is called for the Assembly.
Theodore E. Bear has arrived up at North Pole City and was supposed to be meeting with the Division of WWW/PR to go over changes for his new website; however, with the emergency meeting being called the appointments had to be re-scheduled. We hope to have additional information posted on his page and his biography completed soon- though that will be dependent on the rescheduling of our appointments.
Temperatures will remain steady in the single digits this week; however, there is no snow or sleet expected. We will have some nights where we may have below zero drops, but winds should be calm throughout the week.
Reporters from WELF-NPC North Pole City Radio and the Peppermint Post have submitted a request to attend and cover the emergency meeting with The Assembly of Legendary Figures and the request has been officially denied. This has not happened in 800 years, so the station is thinking that this is a very important meeting.
On June 16, 1884, the first roller coaster in America opened at Coney Island, in Brooklyn, New York. The roller coaster was known as a Switchback Railway. It was invented by LaMarcus Thompson. The Switchback Railway coaster was a one minute ride that traveled approximately six miles per hour and cost a nickel to ride. The ride spanned 600 feet and was fifty feet high. Quite unlike today’s coasters though, the Switchback did not make a round trip loop, instead passengers exited at the end of the track. The Switchback Railway consisted of two parallel wooden tracks that descended in opposite directions. The ride became so popular it brought in an average of $600 per day, paying for itself within three weeks.
Was it really the first roller coaster in America? In reality, no. It was just the first roller coaster in America designed for entertainment purposes. Thompson was inspired by the Mauch Chunk Gravity Railway, a nine-mile downhill railway in Pennsylvania that was designed to carry coal out of the mountains. In fact, that was really the first roller coaster as eventually, they did allow passengers to ride on it in 1873 for amusement after it sat idle for several months once an easier tunnel was built to move the coal.
Thompson was not even the first to patent a coaster-like item, for example, in 1869 De Bodisco & De Rivera patented the Artificial Sliding Hill and in 1878 Richard Knudsen had patented the "Improvement in Inclined Railways," (patent #128,674: https://patentimages.storage.googleapis.com/0e/95/24/3de752bce2cfd1/US128674.pdf)
Thompson's first design of the passenger cars for the ride had the seats facing backward, instead of forward. On the original runs of the roller coaster, passengers sat sideways and went up and down the wooden hills. Changes were later made for more practical, forward-facing cars that could fit more passengers. Eventually, the track design was replaced as well becoming a complete-circuit which made the rides more efficient.
The new entertainment was an instant success and by the turn of the century there were hundreds of roller coasters around the country.
Roller coasters and amusement parks, however, experienced a decline during the Great Depression and World War II, when Americans had less cash to spend on entertainment. Finally, in 1955, the opening of Disneyland in Anaheim, California, signaled the advent of the modern theme park and a rebirth of the roller coaster. Disneyland’s success sparked a wave of new parks and coasters. By the 1970s, parks were competing to create the most thrilling rides.
Coney Island still home to the Cyclone, a wooden coaster that made its debut in 1927. Capable of speeds of 60 mph and with an 85-foot drop, the Cyclone is one of the country’s oldest coasters in operation today. If you want to try out the oldest though, travel to Lakemont Park, Altoona, Pennsylvania, and take a ride on the Leap-the-Dips which is the world’s oldest operating roller coaster. Built in 1902 by designer Edward Joy Morris, it has an average speed of 10 miles per hour, and was nearly demolished in 1986 before being refurbished and reopened in 1999. Today, it is a National Historic Landmark, but still doesn’t have seatbelts, lapbars or headrests. It is also the only side friction coaster left in North America, which means it doesn't have the extra set of wheels under the track.
The North Pole City Commerce Association will be postponing this week's breakfast meet and greet that was scheduled for the ballroom of the North Pole City Hotel. As of this time, the meeting will be held next week as regularly scheduled in Mrs. Claus' kitchen. The Association apologizes for the late notice of this announcement.
North Pole City Council has asked that all road crews working on the street and sidewalk replacement project put their put their project on hold this week and help out with any crowd control needed around the North Pole City Hotel. When a full Legendary Figures meeting is schedule, vehicle traffic and elf traffic around the hotel can become pretty intense as everyone is trying to get a glimpse of or spend some time with the Legendary Figures. All are asked to stay away from the hotel if possible to help keep some of the traffic down.
The North Pole City Sports League is asking that if anyone would like to donate any of their extra decorations or Christmas lights to the mini-golf project that they bring them to the League's offices and drop them off. They have estimated that they are going to need about 8 billion Christmas lights to light up the entire course, so if you have any extra laying around, they would love to have them.
In light of the emergency meeting being called with the entire Assembly of Legendary Figures, all community events that were schedule around City Center and Santa's Village have been postponed, with the exception of the Yeardley Family Community Picnic that is being held within the Yeardley Elf Village at the end of Noel Street. All are welcome to come out for some good food, games, and fellowship.
WELF-NPC North Pole City Radio would like to wish a very happy 575th birthday to Crackle "Twinkle" Appleton. Crackle has been a crane operator out at Dark Mountain for almost 400 years and is responsible for loading the coal trucks when the coal comes out of the mine. We wish you many more happy years.
This is Walter "Mistletoe" Livingstone and Becky "Marshmallow" Livingstone with the reminder: Don't judge each day by the harvest you reap, but the seeds that you plant..
Have a good evening, and be sure to tune in next week for another WELF-NPC North Pole Radio News Update.