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Ferris Wheel And The History Of Amusement Parks

1166 words - 5 pages

Historical events and creative ideas of the times are reflected in the inventions of the period. Throughout history people have always had the need for leisure time, whether it be the simple pleasure of reading a book or the intense high-tech entertainment of today. Different types of entertainment are influenced by historical events, and advancements in technology.You can talk about the entertainment world for days and days. In the present times we talk about the newest breakup, the new scary movie, or the new ride at six flags. In the past these were not the things that people talked about. They might have talked about the newest disco song, the opening night of Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing, who won last night's matches in the Coliseum, or even the newest book.For a while books and what people could do by themselves were the only type of entertainment that people had. Later on in ancient Roman times, they used gladiators for entertainment. These gladiators were slaves and they would have to fight for their lives. People liked to see people suffer, so that was the main part of their entertainment of that time period. Then came Shakespearian times. During this time period many people went to plays and many people were in them. Even though in almost all of these plays there were women, there were no actual women playing the part. Throughout history people went to balls for entertainment and to socialize. For a while, people just did what made them happy.In medieval Europe the idea of the amusement parks began. They were not quite amusement parks, but they were the beginning. They were known as pleasure gardens. During this time they began to pop up on the outskirts of major European cities. These pleasure gardens featured live entertainment, fireworks, dancing, games, and even private amusement rides. They remained popular until the mid 1700's. Their popularity decreased because political unrest caused many gardens to close."In the 1800's the growth of the industry moved to America." (3) Following the American Civil War increased urbanization gave rise to electric traction companies (trolleys). Not many people rode these trolleys, so they were looking for a way to make people want to ride them. This resulted in amusement parks. You could find these amusement parks at the end of a trolley line. They consisted of picnic facilities, dance halls, restaurants, games, and a few amusement rides. The parks were immediately successful and soon opened across America.The amusement park entered its golden era with the 1893 World's Fair in Chicago where the Ferris wheel was built. This huge success dictated the amusement park design for the next 60 years. A man by the name of Paul Boyton was inspired by the Ferris wheel. He was the first person to open a modern amusement park. It was called Paul Boytons Water Chutes. Water Chutes used rides as its main draw rather than picnic facilities or a lake.The amusement park industry grew tremendously over the...

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