GARNERAY, Ambroise Louis (1783-1857, artist). - LEROUGE (engraver)
Promenades Aeriennes, Jardin Baujon. Honoré de la Présence de Sa Majesté, le 2 Août 1817 [The Aerial Walk-ways, Baujon Garden, Honoured by the Presence of His Majesty, August 2, 1817]
Paris: au Jardin Baujon, & chez Ch. Bance, [no date but circa 1817-1818]. Hand-coloured copper-engraved plate by Lerouge after Garneray. In fine condition apart from some expert repairs to tears to blank margins. Image size (including text): 11 1/2 x 17 3/4 inches. Sheet size: 14 1/4 x 19 5/8 inches.
A snap-shot view of the visit of King Louis XVIII to the Baujon pleasure gardens and the 'Aerial Walk-ways' in particular
This precursor of the modern roller-coaster was opened in Paris in 1817. As the view shows, it had two separate but continuous tracks. The tracks led out from the central tower with the walk-ways and tracks running in parallel. Particpiants could either walk down along the walk-ways or travel along the the track in the specially constructed 'cars' which were locked onto the track and reached speeds of up to 40 mph. The central tower could be reached by going up the central incline along one of the parallel tracks in one of the 'cars'.