Harry C. Baker

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Harry C. Baker was an American entrepreneur most notable for his involvement with the building of roller coasters. Through partnerships and later, as president of the Harry C. Baker Company, Baker would be involved with notable designs such as the Cyclone at Coney Island, the Blue Streak at Woodcliffe Pleasure Park, and the Kennywood Park Jack Rabbit.[1]

Biography[edit]

Early life[edit]

Baker was the former manager of Rexford Park, Schnectady, New York[2] and served on the staff at Riverview Park in Chicago.[3]

Miller & Baker[edit]

From 1920 - 1923, Baker served as the Secretary and Treasurer of the John A. Miller-led Miller & Baker, Inc.[3] Serving as office manager of the firm's Grand Central Station location, he was involved with the construction of over 40 coasters.

Harry C. Baker Company[edit]

In 1923, Baker went on to form his own company.[2] In 1927, the Rosenthal brothers contracted with Baker's firm and designer Vernon Keenan to build the Coney Island Cyclone. After the success of this endeavour, Keenan and Baker once again teamed to build one of the most debated roller coasters of the 1920s, the Blue Streak at Woodcliffe Pleasure Park.[2]

Coasters[edit]

During his lifetime, Baker was involved in the building of nearly 40 roller coasters, mostly with John A. Miller.[4]

Name Park Location Operational Collaborator
Big Dipper Roton Point Norwalk, CT 1914 - 1933[a]
North Wind Coaster Coney Island Brooklyn, NY 1915 - 1929 Joseph McKee
Jack Rabbit Willough Beach Park Willoughby, OH 1915 - 1924 Joseph McKee
Jack Rabbit Revere Beach Revere, MA 1916 - 1924 John A. Miller
Deep Dipper Frederick Road Park Baltimore, MD 1920 - 1922 John A. Miller
Jack Rabbit Natatorium Park Spokane, WA 1920 - 1968 John A. Miller
Deep Dips Olympic Park Irvington, NJ 1920 - 1922 John A. Miller
Roller Coaster Riverview Park Des Moines, IA 1920 - 1978 John A. Miller
Big Dipper Riverview Park Chicago, IL 1920 - 1967 John A. Miller
Jack Rabbit Seabreeze Rochester, NY 1920 - John A. Miller
Lightning Riverside Park Agawam, MA 1920 - 1933 John A. Miller
Giant Coaster Central Park Rockford, IL 1921 - 1942 John A. Miller
Comet Palisades Amusement Park Cliffside Park, NJ 1921 - 1925 John A. Miller
Jack Rabbit[1] Kennywood Pittsburgh, PA 1921 - John A. Miller
Pippin Riverview Park Chicago, IL 1921 - 1967 John A. Miller
Sky Rocket Steeplechase Island Bridgeport, CT 1921 - 1951 John A. Miller
Roller Coaster Arnolds Park Arnolds Park, IA 1922 - 1929 John A. Miller
Gorge Ride Cascade Park New Castle, PA 1922 - 1935 John A. Miller
Big Dipper Gordon Gardens Cleveland, OH 1922 - 1927 John A. Miller
Big Dipper Idora Park Youngstown, OH 1922 - 1928 John A. Miller
Greyhound Island Beach Park Burlington, NJ 1922 - 1928 John A. Miller
Ravine Flyer Waldameer Erie, PA 1922 - 1938 John A. Miller
Skyrocket Fairyland Park Kansas City, MO 1923 - 1966 John A. Miller
Wildcat Lakeside Park Salem, VA 1923 - 1967 John A. Miller
Giant Coaster Lakewood Park Barnesville, VA 1923 - 1982 John A. Miller
Zippin Pippin Bay Beach Amusement Park[b] Green Bay, WI 1923 - John A. Miller
Jack Rabbit Paxtang Park Harrisburg, PA 1923 - 1929 John A. Miller
Humming Bird Riverview Beach Park Pennsville, NJ 1923 - 1967 John A. Miller
Fireball Riverview Park Chicago, IL 1923 - 1967 John A. Miller
Dips Buckeye Lake Buckeye Lake, OH 1924 - 1958 John A. Miller
Skyrocket Meyer's Lake Park Canton, OH 1924 - 1946 John A. Miller
Wildcat Bertrand Island Mount Arlington, NJ 1925 - 1983 Herbert Schmeck
Cyclone Coney Island Brooklyn, NY 1927 - Vernon Keenan
Cyclone Rock Springs Park Chester, WV 1927 - 1970
Zingo Crystal City Tulsa, OK 1928 - 1956
Wiz Lotus Isle Park Portland, OR 1928 - 1931
Blue Streak Woodcliff Pleasure Park Poughkeepsie, NY 1928 - 1941 Vernon Keenan
Wildcat Idora Park Youngstown, OH 1930 - 1984 Herbert Schmeck
Skylark Roton Point Norwalk, CT 1934 - 1942
Derby Racer Revere Beach Revere, MA 1937 - 1949
Comet Crescent Park Riverside, RI 1939 - 1961
Cyclone New York World's Fair Flushing, NY 1939 - 1940 Harry Traver[c]
Thunderbolt Riverside Park Agawam, MA 1941 - Joseph E. Drambour [c]
  1. ^ Frederick Ingersoll coaster opened as Tango Dips and rebuilt by Miller and Baker in 1924
  2. ^ Originally located at East End Park then Libertyland, both in Memphis, TN
  3. ^ a b Baker / Harry Traver design, first used at 1939 New York World's Fair, later rebuilt by Joseph E. Drambour at Riverside Park.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Jacques, Charles J. (1982). Kennywood: the roller coaster capital of the world. Vestal, NY: Vestal Press Lrd. p. 37. ISBN 0911572244.
  2. ^ a b c Cartmell, Robert (1987). The Incredible Scream Machine: A History of the Roller Coaster. Fairview Park, OH: Amusement Park Books, Inc. pp. 117–136. ISBN 0879723416.
  3. ^ a b Miller and Baker Inc. 1923 Catalogue (reprint). Natrona Heights, PA: Amusement Park Journal. 1923.
  4. ^ Marden, Duane. "Harry C. Baker". Roller Coaster DataBase. Retrieved 25 August 2013.

External links[edit]