The Caterpillar is a circular ride with the cars following a track. The track is undulating meaning it has humps in it. There is a continious string of cars around the entire track. The ride was generally operated quite fast and produced a fair amount of lateral force.
Once the ride was up to speed, a canopy would rotate over the cars to enclose them. This was quite popular with young couples. While covered, there was usually a fan that blew air up into the cars at one point on each rotation.
The Caterpillar was once a very popular ride found at many amusement parks. Today, there are only a few left operating with reports of a few being in storage.
Bland's Amusement Park1 - Tipton, PA
Camden Park - Huntington, WV
Canobie Lake Park 2 - Salem, NH
Idlewild Park 2 - Ligonier, PA
Myrtle Beach Pavilion 2 - Myrtle Beach, SC
Valleyfair! - Shakopee, MN
1 This ride is inside a building
Thanks to Dave Fischler for information on Hyla Maynes and the prototype photograph.
The Caterpillar ride was designed by Hyla F. Maynes of New York.
The rides were manufactured by several companies including:
The companies or in some cases the byer, buyer paid a royalty to the inventor, Mr. Maynes
The following is a partial list of parks that had Caterpillar rides
Carsonia Park - Reading, PA
(SBNO) = Standing But
|Canopy Open The caterpillar ride has cars riding on an undulating track. There is a continuous string of cars around the entire track.
|Partially Closed After the ride is started, a canopy rotates over top of the riders. Only a few rides still use the canopy.
|Fully Closed The result looks like a caterpillar, hence the name. This was once a very popular ride and a major attraction at many parks.
Close-up of cars and canopy system
The ride featured here is still operating (with the canopy) at Idlewild Park in Ligonier, PA.
The Prototype - The photo above is an early prototype of Mr. Maynes Caterpillar ride. All the riders are relatives of the inventor.
© 2000 Joel W Styer. All
rights reserved. Updated Tuesday, January 13, 2004
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