MEMORIES OF ELDRIDGE PARK
Elmira, New York
umper cars were just that! Cars that bumped around on an oval track. They ran on electricity, connected by a pole on the back of the car that lead up to a wire grid on the ceiling. This grid carried the electricity that ran the car.
The object of the ride was to ram your car into as many others as you could during the short three minutes that the ride was operating. At least it seemed like three minutes. It was never long enough.
Mr. Finlay, or whoever your science teacher was in high school, would tell you that Newton's third law of motion came into play on the bumper cars. This was the law of interaction, and says that if one body exerts a force on a second body, the second body exerts a force equal in magnitude and opposite in direction on the first body.
Whew! No wonder Newton wasn't popular in high school. His was the law of action-reaction, and it helps to explain why you couldn't sit still behind the wheel as you were pummeled by the other drivers on the track.
The Eldridge Park bumper car rides were designed so that they could collide without much danger to the riders. Each car had a large rubber bumper all around it, which prolonged the impact and absorbed some of the force of the collision.
This ride was located just across from the Fun House and the Merry-Go-Round at the edge of Eldridge Lake.
you? Do you remember Eldridge Park?