Coney Island is a popular beach neighborhood seated on the edge of a peninsula in Brooklyn. It originally was settled by European colonists and flourished into a summer resort neighborhood after the Civil War. It was a convenient seaside retreat for a rapidly growing population due to its proximity to the city.
The first rollercoaster was built there in 1884, and the amusement park culture of Coney Island quickly followed suit. The original roller coaster was in the early stages of innovation, but inspired the invention of other mechanical rides.
Dining establishments quickly appeared after the success of the rides, followed by an aquarium, concert halls, circuses and firework shows. Elephants and camel rides were available at the Streets of Cairo attraction. The entertainment industry in Coney Island was booming fast.
Coney Island was a relaxed environment that brought together people of all backgrounds. It had a casual atmosphere and a democratic spirit that encouraged different sexes and ethnicities to socialize freely.
Luna Park opened in 1903. It was nicknamed the “Electric Eden” as the lights were so bright that one could sooner see the park from the New York Harbor than the Statue of Liberty.