Jack Rabbit (Seabreeze Amusement Park)

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Jack Rabbit
Seabreeze-jackrabbit.jpg
Jack Rabbit in 2006
roller coaster
USA.png
Seabreeze Amusement Park
Location Irondequoit, New York, USA
Status Operating since 1920
Cost $18,000,000USD
Height restriction 48 inches (122 cm)
Statistics
Manufacturer Harry C. Baker
Designer / calculations John A. Miller
Type Wooden - Terrain
Hourly capacity 1200
Propulsion Chain lift hill
Height60 feet
Drop75 feet
Top speed50 mph
Length2150 feet
Steepest drop52°
Duration1:55
G-force4.67 g
HELP

Jack Rabbit is a wooden roller coaster located at Seabreeze Amusement Park in Irondequoit, New York, USA. Built in 1920 by John A. Miller and manufactured by Harry C. Baker,[1] the Jack Rabbit is a Modified Out and Back, terrain based wooden roller coaster. The roller coaster utilizes the first ever example of under friction wheel design, a technology patented by the coaster's designer John A. Miller in 1919. This technology ensures that a roller coaster never leaves the track. Jack Rabbit is considered the world's oldest under friction wheel design coaster[2] and heralded as an important part of theme park history as this technology continues to be used on all roller coasters today. Jack Rabbit is the world's 12th oldest roller coaster, and the oldest continually operating roller coaster in North America.[3] When it opened in 1920, it was the fastest wooden roller coaster in the world with a speed of 50 mph.[4] Jack Rabbit continues to use the original manual lever ride controls to operate the roller coaster.

A ride operator checks restraints on the Jack Rabbit Roller Coaster at Seabreeze Amusement park in Rochester, NY. Also pictured are the original manual lever controls still used to operate the coaster today.
Jack Rabbit manual lever roller coaster controls still in use today.

History[edit | edit source]

Fire[edit | edit source]

in 1923, a fire destroyed the original lift hill of the Jack Rabbit and original design of the loading station. However, it was quickly reconstructed to match the original controls and specifications with a new station building and lift hill. Even today, the roller coaster still utilizes the original man powered lever system to start and stop the trains at the station, as well as to lock and unlock the restraints.

The Kirby House[edit | edit source]

Jack Kirby stands at the front door of the Kirby House as his wife and daughter pass by on the Jack Rabbit as it emerges from the tunnel.
Jack Kirby stands at the front door of the Kirby House as his wife and daughter pass by on the Jack Rabbit as it emerges from the tunnel. - Democrat & Chronicle Newspaper Clipping - 1948

In 1923, following the fire at the Jack Rabbit, Jack Kirby (associate of George Long and Owner and operator of Jack Rabbit at the time) constructed a new home for his family directly below the reconstructed lift hill of the roller coaster.[5] [6] The home and the roller coaster shared a major support beam and were connected. Kirby built the home up at various stages and by 1948 it featured a living room, music room, breakfast nook, kitchen, dining room, bathroom, and 3 bedrooms on the first level.[5] On the basement level a laundry room, bedroom, office, and children's play area filled the space.[5] Alongside the home was the workshop where park owner George Long and Kirby worked together to keep operations running smoothly.[5] [6] The Kirby house was later removed, however the engine room directly next to the Jack Rabbit's lift hill is still reminiscent of the old Kirby House.

Landmark Awards[edit | edit source]

American Coaster Enthusiasts, or ACE, recognizes various roller coasters and their creator/park under the Roller Coaster Landmark Award.[7] This prestigious Award recognizes the historical significance of the individual coaster both in roller coaster/theme park history and society at large. Each designated coaster contains a metal plaque in the park it is or was housed in. The Jack Rabbit was officially designated as a Landmark Roller Coaster on August 15, 2015 (the coaster's 95th season of operation) by ACE and contains a metal plaque at the foot of the lift hill.[2][7]

Plaque Inscription[edit | edit source]

ACE ROLLER COASTER LANDMARK

American Coaster Enthusiasts (ACE) recognizes Jack Rabbit at Seabreeze Amusement Park as an ACE Roller Coaster Landmark, a designation reserved for rides of historic significance.

Jack Rabbit was created by John A. Miller (1872-1941), one of the greatest coaster designers of the era, and builder Harry C. Baker (1887-1939). It is one of the first coasters to feature Miller's revolutionary underfriction wheel design that locks coaster trains to the tracks, allowing for more daring, larger, and steeper drops that produce greater speeds. Jack Rabbit, which opened in May 1920, utilizes portions of the park's natural topography that allowed Miller to design an exciting out-and-back terrain coaster that quickly became a park favorite. Today, it is the world's oldest underfriction roller coaster and the second oldest coaster operating in North America.

Standing at a maximum height of 60 feet, the 2,150-foot-long-ride features Miller's signature camelback, airtime-producing hills, including a thrilling 75-foot first drop. It also includes a tunneled helix with a surprise final drop before returning to the station. The coaster was almost completely lost when the loading station and lift hill were destroyed along with several other classic park attraction because of a devastating fire in 1923. Fortunately, the damaged portions of Jack Rabbit were rebuilt for the 1924 season.

ACE commends Seabreeze on its continued operation and preservation of a historic coaster.

Presented by American Coaster Enthusiasts during Jack Rabbit's 95th anniversary.

August 15, 2015.

Trains[edit | edit source]

The Jack Rabbit has had three separate train designs over its lifetime (including one refurbishment in which the cars were changed from stainless steel to solid formica in 1978)[8]

Jack Rabbit Trains
Image Manufacturer Arrangement Capacity Per Train Color Scheme Start Year End Year
John Miller 3 Trains of 3 Cars (Bench Seats, non-locking restraints) 24 Red, White, Black 1920 1945
National Amusement Devices (NAD) 2 Trains of 3 Cars (Bench Seats, Locking Lap Bars), featuring a headlight at the front of each train. Stainless steel construction 18 Red, White, Silver, Black 1946 1977
(REFURBISHED) National Amusement Devices (NAD) Refurbished 2 Trains of 3 Cars (Bench Seats, Locking Lap Bars), featuring a headlight at the front of each train. Stainless steel construction replaced by solid formica constructed bodies. 18 1 Red Train, 1 Green Train. 1978 1988
Morgan Manufacturing Single Train of 5 Cars (Individual Bucket Seats arranged as 2 rows of 2 per car, locking lap bar, flush loading to platform) featuring fiberglass constructed bodies (designed to preserve the coaster through light weight and less burden on structure) 20 Red, White, Black 1989 Present

100th Anniversary[edit | edit source]

Jack Rabbit 100th anniversary logo

For the 2020 season, Seabreeze Park celebrates the 100 year anniversary of the Jack Rabbit. As part of the celebration, a special anniversary ride logo was released on social media outlets and on the Park's website[9][10].

References[edit | edit source]

  1. SeaBreeze Behind the Scenes: Jack Rabbit
  2. 2.0 2.1 Roller coaster Jack Rabbit honored for its history. Democrat & Chronicle
  3. Ten things you might not know about Seabreeze. Rochester City Newspaper
  4. Ride America’s Most Historic Roller Coasters. Smithsonian Magazine
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 Home Is Where the Roller Coaster Is (1948). Democrat & Chronicle (Rochester, NY), Newspapers.com
  6. 6.0 6.1 He's Right on Track to a Good Life (1963). Democrat & Chronicle (Rochester, NY), Newspapers.com
  7. 7.0 7.1 Landmark Coaster Awards (ACE). American Coaster Enthusiasts
  8. Jack Rabbit: 100 Years of Fun. Seabreeze Amusement Park
  9. [Seabreeze Park Official Website https://seabreeze.com/]
  10. Twitter - Seabreeze Park Jack Rabbit 100th Anniversary

External links[edit | edit source]

Fastest roller coaster
1920 - 1924
Preceded by
Unknown
Fastest roller coaster
1920 - 1924
Succeeded by
Giant Dipper
Record
1920 - Current
Preceded by
Unknown
Record
1920 - Current
Succeeded by
None