Kids in 1900 enjoy dangerous playground

Somewhat ironically, I was googling Giganta to learn more about this playground robot and came across this blog posting:

The amusing thing is that it is similar to this posting but is using the robot as an example of dangerous playground equipment that wouldn’t be allowed today.


This basically looks like my 1990 playground. We had a large (12-15ft tall) welded steel beam jungle gyms over asphalt, and I don’t even remember a single injury. A lot of kids were too scared to climb it though.

I checked my old elementary school on Google earth and they got rid of that equipment and added on to the building. It looks like everything is over sand now. Looks like the other elementary got rid of theirs too, but that one was always on grass.

Now I’m checking my old haunts as a child. No wonder I gained a bunch of weight when we moved, I was biking or walking 3-4 miles a day as a 9 year old and playing or whatever else on top of that. I can’t believe my parents even let me do that.


Back in my day we didn’t have that fancy grass and dirt. We had rocks. Lots of sharp rocks.


I grew up in Webster Groves, in ST Louis. There was a park called “Rocket Park”, or Deer Creek Park, which had a 25’ tall slide and an even taller climbing tower.

It has since been torn down and replaced by safer equipment, but it did look cool.

It’s been a few years but I’m pretty sure this is the slide:


I had a similar slide!

I wonder what happened to them?

My study of black and white photos in horror movies leads me to conclude that all those children are now dead, except for one who is institutionalized in an asylum of some sort that does not follow state regulations.


We had jungle gyms in the 1960s like that!. Tangles of heavy steel pipe towering over blacktop. I seem to remember about a half dozen kids getting broken arms falling through those things, and the parents were like “Well, they’re kids, kids get their arms broken, it’s no surprise”.

When I broke my arm in middle school, my mom was working for a local doctor. Mom made me wait all morning in the school nurse’s office, until her lunch hour, before she came and picked me up. Then I had to ride around with her while she did her daily shopping before she took me back to the doctor’s office for a cast. Totally not kidding!


When I was a kid in the mid-60’s (yeah, I’m old - you want to make something of it?) they built a new elementary school with modern, “safe” playground equipment like metal animals on springs, concrete sewer pipes, and this monstrosity called a “Rocket Slide”. It looked like it sounded, a big rocket with circular stair going up and a slide coming down. The sides were vertical pipes like the robot that stopped about 4’ above the ground with an open space below the first deck. On Day 1 at the new school I slammed into the bottom of one of those pipes while being chased by bullies (yeah, I got chased by bullies - you want to make something of it?) and it took 8 stitches to sew up the gash in my head. Lord only knows how I survived the old equipment … I miss the maypole.


Like the other commenters said, he’s on a swing.

Native Californian here - and I can attest - these dome play structures were everywhere in the 70’s. And by the way, tanbark splinters are NOT fun.


And it automatically creates fun. It’s a win-win, I’d say.

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And now what’s happened to all those kids from 1900?



Remember the old ‘dark ride’ at Bronson Cave? That thing was crazy!


Is that first picture really from 1900? Because my school playground had a contraption like that–basically a giant metal frame–in the '70’s. Because the picture is in black and white I can’t tell if theirs was also painted orange.

I fell off the highest part of it when I was pretending to be Richard Dreyfus in Jaws. In our version Quint survived because he went to get a bigger boat teacher.


Collector’s Weekly did a good article a while back featuring the rocket slide:

The one pictured in the article is near my grandma’s old house in Colorado, which I used to visit as a kid. The park with the rocket was too far to walk, but I could bike there on gramma’s adult-sized bike.

I could reach the pedals, but not the ground, so to stop and not tip over, I had to swing off the bike and jump my feet down to the ground. That didn’t always work out (still have scarred up knees from that) and so just getting to the park was a thrill. Then, I would climb to the top of the tower and feel it sway, and be so overstimulated I would feel faint. Then, back to grammas for raw hot dogs and piles of candy. Good times!


We had playgrounds like this in the 60’s and '70’s - they were just a little closer to the ground.


I miss the merry-go-round! That spinning disk of centrifugal death!!!


Planet Earth - adopted home of humanity:

Risk-averse bunker, or dangerous playground?


Shit. I’m scared just looking at them. Both. One will kill me and the other give me nightmares for the rest of my life.


Holy Shit I remember playgrounds like that robot. Eisenhower Park on LI I believe. Thanks for the memory jolt.