The Tumble Bug

Whalom Bug

uparrow2a12.gif (882 bytes) Entrance to the Tumble Bug at Whalom Park in Lunenburg, MA
(courtesy of George LaCross)

The Tumble Bug ride was once quite popular at amusement parks. There were two variations. One looked like a bug, hence the name Tumble Bug. The second looked like a turtle and is the reason that this ride is sometimes called the Turtle Ride.

The bug traveled around a circular undulating track, usually in a counter-clockwise rotation.

In 1927, a 48 passenger (6 car), 100 foot diameter Tumble Bug cost $12,500. Rides with 4 or 3 cars cost less.

There are four known operating full size Tumble Bug rides left. Three are in the USA and the fourth is in the UK. The one at Conneaut Lake is the oldest, dating from 1925.

Conneaut Lake Park (Bug) - Conneaut Lake, PA (ride was restored in 2006 but the park did not open at beginning of 2007)

Kennywood Park (Turtle) - West Mifflin, PA

Blackpool Pleasure Beach - UK

Kiddie Tumble Bugs

 

The Tumble Bug (also known as a Turtle Ride or Turtle Chase) was built by Traver Engineering of Beaver Falls, PA. Traver's factory was taken over by one of his employees in the early 1930's, Ralph E. Chambers. Operating under the new name of R.E. Chambers, they produced the bugs as well as spare parts.

While credit is given to Traver for the rides design, it was actually designed by Hyla Maynes, the same inventor who designed the Caterpillar and a host of other rides. Traver only had a license to produce them and a fee was paid to Maynes by the purchaser.

Harry Traver, owner of Traver Engineering was best known for his extreme roller coaster rides and Circle Swings. He also produced auto rides, Laff In The Dark dark rides, the Caterpillar and other fun contraptions

 

Chippewa Lake Park - Chippewa Lake, OH

This ride was abandoned with the park and still stands rotting away.

Boblo Island - Canada
Cascade Park - New Castle, PA
Euclid Beach Park - Cleveland, OH
Geauga Lake - Aurora, OH
Hershey Park (The Bug) - Hershey, PA
Idora Park - Youngstown, OH
Jantzen Beach - Portland, OR
Kings Island - Kings Mills, OH
Meyers Lake Park - Canton, OH
Oaks Park - Portland, OR
Olympic Park
- Maplewood, NJ
Playland - Vancouver, BC, Canada
Riverview Park - Chicago, IL
Rocky Glen Park - Moosic, PA
Sans Souci Park - Wilkes Barre, PA
Summit Beach - Akron, OH
West View Park - (1929) West View, PA
Whalom Park (bug) - Fitchburg, MA
Willow Beach Park - Toledo, OH

and many more!

Conneaut Lake Bug Car

Kennywood Turtle Car

 

uparrow2a12.gif (882 bytes) The Tumble Bug at Conneaut Lake Park. Notice the two lights used for eyes in the front of the car. uparrow2a12.gif (882 bytes) The Turtle at Kennywood park has a turtle head and tail added to the car.

Conneaut Lake Tumble Bug

uparrow2a12.gif (882 bytes) The Tumble Bug at Conneaut Lake Park

 

Whalom Bug

uparrow2a12.gif (882 bytes) The Tumble Bug at Whalom Park in Lunenburg,MA
(courtesy of George LaCross)

Kennywood Park Turtles

uparrow2a12.gif (882 bytes) The Turtles at Kennywood Park

RideZone wishes to thank George LaCross for sharing his photos here. Used with permission

2000 Joel W Styer. All rights reserved. Updated Thursday, July 05, 2007
RideZone is not affiliated in any way with the above Amusement Parks or manufacturers