Thursday, July 27, 2017

1910 postcard: Roller coaster at Nantasket Beach's Paragon Park

This postcard, mailed in the summer of 1910, is labeled "Boulevard and Nantasket Roller Coaster, Nantasket Beach, Mass." The divided-back card was published by the Metropolitan News & Publishing Company of Boston, and it was printed in Germany.1

Paragon Park was the name of the amusement park that operated on Nantasket Beach for three-quarters of a century, from about 1909 to 1984. According to Wikipedia:
"Among the amusement rides in operation during Paragon Park's history was a traditional-style Philadelphia Toboggan Company carousel (PTC #85) with hand-crafted horses, a bumper cars ride known as 'Auto Scooters,' a Ferris wheel, a horror-themed dark ride called 'Kooky Kastle,' and a wooden roller coaster known as The Giant Coaster."
The Giant Coaster — parts of which now comprise "The Wild One" at Six Flags America in Prince George's County, Maryland — did not open until 1917, so it's not the roller coaster that's shown on this postcard.

For more about Paragon Park's history, check out Andrea Shockling's 2013 blog post "Remembering Paragon Park" on Entertainment Designer;; Tim Flaherty's 2016 post "Midcentury Memories: Paragon Park" on the Medfield Historical Society website; Paragon Park Book; and this thread, started in 2005, on the Intercot message board.

As for the back of this postcard, it's fairly mundane. It was mailed to a woman named Rosemary and dated July 12, 1910. The message states:
Sorry to learn you are still ill and will not be down to see us. Hoping you & Grandma are much better and with love to all.

1. I'm sure that postcards printed in Germany made their trans-Atlantic crossings in relatively small batches, along with the rest of the mail, but it's fun to imagine an early 20th century ship's hold filled with hundreds of thousands (millions?) of pristine new postcards, ready for distribution to every shop and news stand in America.

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