The Scrambler

The Scrambler, Twist (in the UK), Twister, Cha Cha (in Australia), Sizzler, or Merry Mixer

The Scrambler introduces you to the concept of centripetal force which is the force, acting upon a body moving along a curved path, that is directed toward the center of curvature of the path and constrains the body to the path.

Imagine swinging a yo-yo around in a circle. The force generated by your arm puts the yo-yo itself in motion, and the tension on the string keeps it moving in a circular path as you twirl it. That tension is centripetal force.

The Scrambler was invented by Richard Harris of Georgia and was installed at the Lakewood Fairgrounds in 1938. The fairgrounds were established in 1916 in Lakewood Heights, Atlanta, and was the home to the Southeastern Fair.

Two more rides were made and sold by 1940. The patent was granted in 1941 which was then acquired and licensed to the Eli Bridge Company, a family-owned amusement ride manufacturer headquartered in Jacksonville, Illinois. They road-tested their new ride in 1953 and had sold 5 by the end of 1954. The Scramblers’ first major showing was at the 1955 Florida State Fair where it grossed $1,700 (at 25 cents a ride) in a single day and interested many additional buyers.

It was my favorite ride when it came to town with the traveling carnival. It certainly justifies its name, just like scrambling eggs as the three clusters mesh in circles very close together. The rides were exported to the UK in 1959, spreading the fun around the globe.

Overhead view
28 foot Eli Bridge Scrambler

Author: Doyle

I was born in Atlanta, moved to Alpharetta at 4, lived there for 53 years and moved to Decatur in 2016. I've worked at such places as Richway, North Fulton Medical Center, Management Science America (Computer Tech/Project Manager) and Stacy's Compounding Pharmacy (Pharmacy Tech).

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