Thursday, 10 July 2014 20:43

Figure Eight Coaster

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Figure Eight from the Lower Esplanade ca.1908 Figure Eight from the Lower Esplanade ca.1908 SLV image H93.492/13
Date Opened Saturday 26 January 1907 #3
Promoter F. G. Robson #4
Date Closed December 1912?
History

On the 18 October 1906, the Argus reported: Among the various entertainments and amusements which are to be provided at St Kilda beach during the coming summer is an American contrivance called "The Figure Eight Coaster". A continuous track of rails, 900ft. long, is to rise from the level of the ground to a height of 40ft., in three tiers, each the shape of a figure eight. Cars to carry four persons will be haled to the top, and allowed to descend by gravitation, providing a sensation which is claimed by the management to be "thrilling, but absolutely safe". The right to erect the apparatus on the triangular block of land between Brookes's boat-shed and "Dreamland" was granted yesterday by the St KIlda Foreshore Trust.#1

By the end of January 1907 the ride was open and thrilling its patrons.

 

 

 

Robson's Figure Eight ca 1908Postcard, Dan Clifton collection, SLV image H84.233/19

 

  Reference Summary or [note]
1. Argus 1906.10.18 p.4 [Description of ride above].
2. Prahran Telegraph 1907.01.05 p.5 Ranged along the northern border of Dreamland is what is to be known as a Figure of Eight Roller Coaster. At the present time (owing to the strike it is said) the structure looks like a gaunt skeleton of some fairy castle'.
3. Prahran Telegraph 1907.01.26 p.5 This afternoon, at 2.30pm, the new and novel sensation at the St Kilda Esplanade to be known as "the Figure 8", will be opened for the use of the public. [description follows]
4. Amusements, Argus 1907.01.31 p.12 Advertisement: Get the Cobwebs out of you! Adults 6d, children, 3d.
5. Edwin Dickinson, The story of Australian Roller Coasters, 2012, pp.52-53 [Reference to Robson's and other Figure Eights]
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