25. Coney Island Was Also Home To America’s First Roller Coaster (And It Wasn’t The Cyclone)

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The original switchback railway in 1884. Image via Wikipedia

Coney Island was home to the world’s first roller coaster, but it wasn’t the still-operating Cyclone as many might think. It was, in fact, a switchback railway that opened on June 16, 1884. It traveled at a speed of six miles per hour and cost five cents to ride. By the early 1900s, more technologically advanced rides developed and were all the rage among parkgoers. There was the Thunderbolt (1925), the Tornado (1926) and finally, the Cyclone (1927). According to Coney Island by John S. Berman, people waited in line for up to five hours for these rides, which only lasted a few minutes.