Coney Island At the turn of the ;ninetieth century, many radical social and industrial move meets began to change the American culture. At this time, an industrial revolution was see peeping the nation ushering in a complete change of the American dream, America was becoming g global power and empire, women were relentlessly fighting for social equalities, and cities grew even larger with large amounts of immigrants pouring into the nation’s coasts.
Some people I cooking for something that resembles all that happened in this era may be looking for a s pacific person or roof, but their search ends ATA small island in New York, Coney Island. This small, quaint, wasteland in Brooklyn would spring up to be one of the greatest amusement parks of all time. Having roller coasters, beaches, and games, Coney Island seemed like that’s al I it was, an amusement park, but it meant more than that. It all began in 1847 when a sidesaddles began teeing up on the west end of the e island.
At that time there were just a few people with small food stands and men playing g games along with the prostitution and stealing happening there. Soon on the west end of the is land, three large tools went up that drew in more respectable families. The people who could NT afford the fancy west end, and wanted to avoid the vices of the east, crowded the beach in bet when called West Brighton. These people here were from all different backgrounds and classes ; they were rich, poor, farmers, townspeople, and people of all different descents all having if n together in the same water.
However, the real excitement didn’t start until John McKenna core aptly gained almost complete political control over the island. McKenna ushered in a whole new era for Coney Island, developing West Bright n and bringing in other attractions like the 300 Ft observation tower which was the t allies structure in the U. S. At the time. Under Manse’s control, Coney became a place of new i inventions and machinery. It also seemed that New York was ready for this sort of catalogue of technology.
As described in the document New York in the Golden Nineties , people were clamoring to the new electric street lights and trolleys and just wanted more to feed their desires. T here were things like a malleable cow and even a hotel in the shape of an elephant to do just that An invention that had one of the most greatest impacts on Coney’s develops .NET was electricity and Edition’s lightly. At it’s prime, hundreds of thousands of light bulbs illuminated the park and people even enjoyed night swimming with tall lamps in the water called “electric bathing. Edition’s way of working is described in the document Thomas Edison Observed. It is made up of accounts from Edition’s secretary and explains how much he r elided on mathematics in his research. After enjoying the beach, people could enjoy a classic “Coney Redroot’, also known as a hot dog created by Charles Feldman. Lamarckism Thou mason’s early form of the roller coaster called the Switchback Railway became very popular and there were soon many revisions of it. Coney Island wasn’t just a showing place for modern technology, it also rep the politics of the turning century.
Not only did McKenna bring in new development to the island, but also vices that were frowned upon by many. Carrie Nation was one of the SE people of fought against such vices in the U. S. As described in the document Carrie Nation Attacks “Dens of Vice”. This document and the situation at Coney perfectly resembled how the Aimer can mentality on morals was changing. Reverend A. C. Dixon had this to say in The New York Times: “Coney Island, our popular summer resort, has been a suburb of Stood. Indeed deed, Stood bore no comparison to this place for vileness.
One cannot speak in public of t he scenes which are daily enacted at that resort and by which young people of both sexes are poll duet. ‘ McKenna responded, saying, “Houses of prostitution are a necessity on Coney I island and I don’t propose to interfere with the gambling at Brighton Beach and Sheepish ad Bay. After all, this anti no Sunday school. ” Being the political boss that he was, in 1 893 McKenna registered over 6,000 vote errs from Coney Island against a reform candidate and then had his police beat the office ere in charge of stopping the fraud.
Having political bosses run the cities Of America began to falter during this time period but in the document A View of the Political Machine , a New York City boss named George Washington Plunking defends what he does. He claims that the work h e does isn’t corrupt but in fact he has personal relationships with many common New Your Kerr and is always faithful to the people if they are faithful to him. However, McKenna would so n be arrested, forcing Coney Island to have to find a way to attract visitors without the tempt ins vices. The successor of McKenna was George C.
Utility, a showman instead of a politic clan. Utility first act as ruler was that he built a Ferris wheel half the size of the one he copied in Buffalo and claimed it to be the largest in the world. He also brought a com editor to the island, Paul Bobbed. Bobbed was famous for traveling the world’s rivers in his rubber r suit. He created a park on Coney called Sea Lion Park that included things such as sea lion shoo s and a boat ride down a shoot. Boodle’s ramshackle park made Utility want one of his one, and used a mach manic horse race he found in England to rival Boodle’s boat ride.
Steeplechase park open deed in 1897 and one participant described by saying, “The young men like it because it gives them a chance to hug the girls. The girls like it because it gives them a chance to get hugged. Every odd likes it because it is cheap fun, real fun, lively fun. It realizes its mottoes, ‘Half a mile n half a minute and fun all the time. ” But it didn’t end at the ride. When riders got off the set plashes ride they ad to cross a stage called the Blowhole Theater where a stream of air would flip the girls’ skirts up and a dwarf would shock the man with an electric cattle prod.
Meanwhile the audience would continuously watching everyone go through and laugh. Steeplechase park can be seen as a symbol of how American society and moor alas were changing. Never before in American history would men and women be so cool SE together with each other on a ride like that without it seeming scandalous but now it was an accepted thing. The Blowhole Theater also showed that Americans enjoyed seeing other peep e be embarrassed and that they would pay to entertain others. It was so popular that it lasted f or 70 years, being New Work’s longest running show.
Now with Steeplechase growing, it came to be realized that it wasn’t just the middle class and poor people enjoying it, but rather everyone of all classes and background dos. The document Poems of Chinese Immigrants tells of how Chinese immigrants coming to America felt free to do what they wanted, how they wanted, and they would surely be accepted at Co nee. Above all, Coney Island was a place of democracy where everyone put everything aside ND came together. This is also defined by this quote: “When you bathe in Coney, you bathe in the American Jordan.
It is holy water. Nowhere else in the United States will you see so many races mingle in a common purr SSE for a common good. Democracy meets here and has its first interview, skin to skin. Here you find the real interpretation of the Declaration of Independence the most good for the Greg attest number, tolerance, freedom. ” Steeplechase went under with some bad luck when the entire wooden park b earned in 1907. Utility was determined to rebuild the park and make it better than ever fore.
He did so nine months later when he opened the Pavilion of Fun, which made all of the attractions of steeplechase safe from the weather. Frederic Thompson a failed architect and Elmer Dandy a court clerk, came tog ether to build the greatest park at Coney Island to rival Utility. The two put all of their money together to build Ulna Park and when it opened in May of 1903, they only had 1 1 dollars between them. However they quickly made the money back with Ulna be a huge success. Wi the tall towers covered in a total of over 250,000 of Edition’s light bulbs, it was described by o e onlooker as an “electric Eden”.
Elephants, acrobats, clowns, spotted horses, and many other attractions, Ulna made people feel like they were living in fairy tales. One man who was fascinated by Ulna Park was inspired to build a park that w loud be even greater, a park to end all parks. This man was William H. Reynolds, a shah dye New York politician who convinced the city to sell him 60 acres of land on Coney Island. Dreamland, as it was to be called, was astoundingly massive. It would soon become the hub of the future, the bizarre, and of American culture.