Could be worse.
My school had one more like this. I don’t remember anyone falling into the space in the middle when they hopped on while it was spinning, but it must have happened in some places.
When I was working at Adventure Playground in Berkeley, we had something similar but it was for just one at a time. It was a big ol’ pole in the ground, like a utility pole, with a rope at the top. Get a running start down the little hill and just fly around that thing. Like a human tetherball. Good times.
Similar demographic here: I definitely played on one in the mid- to late-70s in Canada. It had children lining up to play on it. It commanded more awe, anticipation, joy, and solemn respect than any other piece of equipment on the entire playground.
This is flooding back memories of the tricks the Big Kids taught me to go ridiculously high:
- the usual path is a circle, but run in a square - you get great height at the corners.
- When it’s at a standstill, put a lighter kid on the handle in front of you. Walk under his / her chain, so that your chains cross. When it starts up, you both run until you’re flying, then the leading kid uses the overlapping chain to “launch” the trailing lighter kid. It felt like I was touching the sky with my shoes.
Dangerous af, and I still get a thrill of excitement thinking about it. Pretty sure it broke at least one arm while I was at that school. It might’ve been cut down after that, my memory of losing it isn’t as vivid as the rides.
Yep - that’s the one that almost killed me. I fell off and somehow my head swung around and got caught under the spinning edge. There is not a lot of space there, and when a person was on it, that section might scrape the dirt.
I still don’t know how I lived that day.
It’s great fun to play catch with someone else while you’re both riding one of these, while it is rotated at a steady speed by confederates. GoPros hadn’t been invented when I and a friend did a bunch of 2-person juggling on one. Now of course we can’t find one anywhere.
furiously taking notes
teach me, sensei!
i am sure it’s only a matter of time before someone builds one of these at burning man, preferably one that lights on fire and/or is somehow connected to a tesla coil, lol. i need to be ready.
It does look like a lot of fun/danger, but if we’re looking at " history’s most thrilling piece of playground equipment" I feel I’ve a duty to remind everybody of the grown-up playground which at one time existed in Edinburgh: The Royal Patent Gymnasium.
…Another popular piece of amusing apparatus was Chang - The giant’s Sea-Saw - an alleyway 100 feet long by 7 feet wide, mounted on a pivot and brought into play by any number of people, up to 200, running up the inclined side of the structure. The ends of the see-saw travelled through an arc of 50 feet and the final shock on the downward action was so great that tanks of water were required to absorb the movement. Fitted above the fulcrum of the structure was a giant figure - Chang - which swung slowly to each side in harmony with the motion of the balancing beam.
There are various descriptions and historic posters dotted around the web, and even an old photograph or two. Why somebody hasn’t tried to recreate some of these things during the Festival is beyond me.
I stick my head out’a the window while flying down the freeway, so I understand the attraction here.
With your tongue hanging out? Just what kind of breed are you?
Regards that thrilling bit of playground kit - we had one of those in a kids park set up in maybe 1960 - and it was prolly the most exciting item. Don’t recall getting grossly injured by any of that stuff but if you didn’t break a bit of skin every other day you weren’t alive.
Yeah, they were fun. I played on one and apparently survived it(*). But even here in the Netherlands where they are many unsupervised and public playgrounds that would make an American ambulance chaser come in his suit these contraptions are gone.
Still, there are plenty of arguments for somewhat dangerous play and what good is a childhood if you don’t have scars or some non-essential bits missing to remember it by
(Although this morning I did feel about 40 years dead…)
My grade school in the early '80s had the medieval version of this bridge (?) thing. Instead of flimsy steel pipes, it was constructed of 12-foot long, 10-inch diameter wooden timbers, suspended by thick chains. Like you said, a battering ram. Four kids would get on the bridge part and rhythmically swing it, gradually building up the force with each swing. When it got to the maximum, the kid at the leading end of the bridge would leap off, being sent about 30 feet before landing in the gravel.
I didn’t participate in any of that, though; I could vividly imagine a kid getting in the way of the flying timber and being decapitated by the force of the impact. I guess that some adult must have had the same thought at some point, because that piece of playground equipment is long gone. I’m sure I would have heard if there had been a serious injury or death from it. It definitely had the potential to kill.
My friend Martin still carries the scars from walking too close to the front of one and collected the cast iron horse head under his jaw. Plenty of blood spilt in a playground.
But remember, scars are tattoos for the brave.
when rachel bloom did stand up she talked about wearing an open topped shirt and being freaked by naughty boys saying she’s lovely… amongst other things…
however she got a thing on the interwebs about injections… head banging… and children falling off park amusements…
there was a youtube item but has been removed now…
Of course you wouldn’t be on one of these in snake season, but they were easy to see against the broken glass before we had sand
Different thing, but similar action. I remember this well.
I was too timid to use any of the playground equipment.
We had one of these at my grammar school in the early 60’s, only we called it a maypole. I remember playing on it and flying through the air when you let go of the handle, to land (hard) on the asphalt or grass. But the biggest memory I have of it was the noise - I don’t think it had been oiled (and if it had been, we probably all would have been killed) since the Great Depression, and it made the horrible shrieking noise as it spun around. It sounded like the pteranodon from Johnny Quest.
Here in the UK we called those things “Maypoles”. Ours was around until the 1990s with car tyres for handles. Sure they got rid of the Witch’s Hats in the 80s but the Maypoles lingered on. 'course we had the obligatory Gen X oceans of grass with sharp-stoned tarmac only under the actual rides…