January 20, 1885L.A. Thompson patents the roller coaster.
The roller coaster is a popular amusement ride developed for amusement parks and modern theme parks. LaMarcus Adna Thompson patented the first coasters on January 20, 1885. In essence a specialized railroad system, a roller coaster consists of a track that rises in designed patterns, sometimes with one or more inversions (such as vertical loops) that turn the rider briefly upside down. The track does not necessarily have to be a complete circuit, as shuttle roller coasters exhibit. Most roller coasters have multiple cars in which passengers sit and are restrained. Two or more cars hooked together are called a train. Some roller coasters, notably Wild Mouse roller coasters, run with single cars. The oldest roller coasters are believed to have originated from the so-called "Russian Mountains", which were specially constructed hills of ice, located especially around Saint Petersburg. Built in the 15th century, the slides were built to a height of between 70 and 80 feet (24 m), consisted of a 50 degree drop, and were reinforced by wooden supports.