Taking a spin on Coney Island’s “Witching Waves”

The variety and creativity of amusements at turn-of-the-century Coney Island was astounding. This 1910 postcard shows one of the most popular rides, the Witching Waves.


Invented by the same man who patented the revolving door and installed at Luna Park, “it consisted of a large oval course with a flexible metal floor whose hidden reciprocating levers could induce a moving wave-like motion,” explains Coney Island site westland.net.

“While the actual floor didn’t move, the continuously moving wave propelled two seated small scooter-like cars forward while patrons steered.”

[Postcard: MCNY]

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8 Responses to “Taking a spin on Coney Island’s “Witching Waves””

  1. Rich T Says:

    A good look at the ride: Roscoe Arbuckle’s “Coney Island”.

    • Tom B Says:

      Thanks Rich T. Luna Park looks like a lawyer’s honey pot for lawsuits. Fatty Arbuckle was repulsive looking. Buster Keaton was only 22 years old in that picture. He would be 120 today.

    • Lady G. Says:

      That was great! Never saw it before. Coney Island looked super fun. Poor Buster should drop that girl fast.

  2. ephemeralnewyork Says:

    Super cool! The ride hits at about the six-minute mark.

  3. bd Says:

    Roscoe Arbuckle was adorable in that film, as he was in any of his hundreds of movies

    • Beth Says:

      Agreed. Roscoe was a handsome, if large guy. Buster Keaton. My favorite silent clown, wouldn’t have become what he was without Arbuckle’s. He was a brilliant.

  4. Riding an elephant at Coney Island’s Luna Park | Ephemeral New York Says:

    […] rides like Helter Skelter, Shoot the Chutes, and the Witching Waves weren’t enough excitement for you, you could always take advantage of another thrill offered […]

  5. It’s hard to believe this unspoiled beach is Coney Island in the 1870s | Ephemeral New York Says:

    […] the Cyclone, before Nathan’s, before the boardwalk, sideshows, amusement parks, bathhouses, mass numbers of beachgoers wading into the surf, Coney Island was an actual island […]

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