Early Coney Island - (1609 - 1880

Early Coney Island - 1881 - 1903

Reign of John McKane

Great Globe Tower Swindle

Nickel Empire - 1920 - 1939

Transportation to Coney Island

Coney Island Horse Racing

Luxury Hotels of the 19th Century


Sea Lion Park (1895-1902)

Steeplechase Park (1897-1907)

2nd Steeplechase Park (1908-1964)

Luna Park (1903-1944)

Dreamland (1904-1911)

Dreamland Fire -1911

Astroland (1962-2008)

Independent Rides

Cycloramas & Other Disaster Shows

Freaks and Side Shows

Coney Island - Roller Coasters

Coney Island - Carousels

Frederick Thompson & Skip Dundy Biography


Historic Amusement Parks.



List (1910 - 2006)


Request for help with research

Research Bibliography

Coney Island Ride List


Early Roller Coasters (1870 - 1886)


Amusement Park Books - List


Bookstore for Venice California - Coney Island of the Pacific - Centennial Edition





Coney Island History Site

Last Updated on September 6, 2013

This interactive educational site covers the history of Coney Island in Brooklyn, New York. It features timelines, historic articles and photographs, interactive maps that when clicked on show historic views, and lists of movies filmed on Coney Island's streets, beaches and amusement parks. Coney Island was considered the world's largest and premier amusement area during the first half of the 20th Century. It was a beach resort that provided carefree entertainment and thrilling amusement park rides to the millions of residents that lived in New York City. It featured three huge amusement parks; Luna Park, Steeplechase and Dreamland, and countless other attractions along the Bowery, Surf Avenue and its numerous side streets.

The historic articles and photographs for this educational site are based on Jeffrey Stanton's research for a forthcoming history book that would concentrate on Coney Island's amusement park business during the 20th century. While others have written extensively on the area's early history and its social history, they have sadly neglected the amusement park rides and the people who designed them.

Book Status: The Coney Island history book, which I've been writing since 1998, is nearly complete. The goal was and is to be the definitive history book about the famous resort. The text is slightly over 235,000 words (that's about 425 pages, single spaced, small type), and is presented in seven long chapters. Those who have read it are astounded by the book's depth. The project has taken several more years than I had expected, partly because I've been persistent in clearing up the errors that have managed to slip into other people's books, and I've researched everything from amusement ride patents, to how people lived and dressed at the turn of the 20th century. It was also important to bring the book to life with interesting stories about the people who built and operated businesses at the resort, as well as give detailed descriptions of the rides and shows. It also takes considerable time to reconstruct the various amusement parks for different years in three-dimensional, 3/4 aerial perspective views, which I feel are essential for the book. I must admit that I've been lax in finishing those dozen maps since publishers didn't wants maps in my book. Of course, the book wouldn't be complete without without hundreds of photos. While I had hoped that photos of nearly all of the area's rides and attractions would be available, the public collections only have some of them. I had hoped that private collectors would contribute to fill in the blanks, but I was mistaken, for those that I have corresponded with, have no interest in helping. To compensate, I've been buying hand-colored antique postcards of some of the missing rides.

Unfortunately I've had no success in finding a publisher who wants the 235,000 word text or my maps at all. The few publishers, who have shown interest, want to publish several hundred photos in a book with a few scattered paragraphs that in total don't exceed 5,000 - 10,000 words. They publish frill history books for an audience that doesn't read, but enjoys looking at interesting historic photos. Yes, I could self-publish the book, like I did with my 2005 Centennial edition of my Venice California - Coney Island of the Pacific book, but if I do, it will not be sold in any book stores or museums in the New York area, nor anywhere else in the United States. Besides it would probably cost me $100,000 to print it, and the chance of recovering my investment in the 10 - 20 more years that I'm likely to live, is doubtful. Selling my self-published books on the Internet did not work for me during the years 1996 - 2001 when my older Venice and Santa Monica books were available, nor during the years when my new Venice book became available in 2005. And now that three or four recently published Coney Island history books are available, only those who are seeking a comprehensive history book, or one that covers all of Coney Island's rides and attractions, will be my customers.

The author who is the content provider for this educational site, hopes that expanding the material for this site becomes a collaborative venture. It would be beneficial to all, that other researchers help fill in the missing pieces and share in providing content for this educational site. The author has digitized numerous photographs and color antique postcards from his archives. The material is copyrighted 2013 by Jeffrey Stanton. While students may use it freely in their school reports, commercial use of the material in any printed form is prohibited without permission and fees paid to the author.

If you would like to know something about the author click here for
Jeffrey Stanton's Biography

The site is looking for additional historic material; antique postcards, original photographs, ride tickets, guide books with maps, and various souvenir items. If one has material either for sale or to donate to this site, please leave a message (E-Mail) or write to:

ADDRESS: Jeffrey Stanton 12525 Allin Street Los Angeles, California 90066. Telephone (310) 821-2425 (no answering machine)

Please send E-Mail to:

Make sure you put the words Coney Island as part of the subject line of your message, or I might mistake it for one of the hundred junk mail messages I receive daily.

The author has a similar historic amusement park site for Venice and Ocean Park, California.

Click here to reach the Venice History Site.

Historic articles and photos copyrighted 1997, 2003 & 2013 by Jeffrey Stanton

Website Hoseted by the Westland Network