The Aeriocycle

Design and Layout

Note: additional research for this concession was provided personally by Norman D. Anderson, who authored the definitive book about these amusements, "Ferris Wheels: An Illustrated History." Thanks to him!

The Aeriocycle was a relative of the recently invented ferris wheel and it was also known as the "Giant Seesaw" after a similar ride Fred Thompson premiered at the the Tennessee Centennial Expoisiton in 1897. A steel tower was constructed 140 feet tall and from that fulcrum a 'walking beam' was built 240 feet in length. At each end of this beam were two wheels 40 feet in diameter. Each wheel had four car capable of carrying 18 people each.

For $.25 ($4.99 in 2000 dollars), a visitor would board a car which turned round as the walking beam lifted the wheel high in the air. When you reached the top-most angle you would be 275 feet off the ground. You had ten minutes thus suspended, slowly turning, to look around the sparsely developed area of North Buffalo. People particularly liked to ride after dark because they said it was the best view of the illumination and the city.

The Aeriocycle's beam was lifted by a 40 horsepower generator using a worm gear. Each wheel turned by a 14 horsepower motor. The Aeriocycle was illuminated at night by 2,000 bulbs. Concessionaires Fred Thompson and Skip Dundy partnered in producing this ride, which Mr. Dundy said cost them $40,000.


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