POSTCARD: LE SCENIC RAILROAD AT LUNA PARK, PARIS, FRANCE
The early twentieth century was the golden age of amusement parks. Coney Island in Brooklyn, New York was home to several of the largest amusement parks: Steeplechase Park, Luna Park and Dreamland. Steeplechase Park, which opened in 1897, was the brainchild of George Tilyou.
In 1902, Frederic Thompson and Elmer ‘Skip’ Dundy ran their ‘A Trip to the Moon’ ride at Steeplechase. By the next year, they had opened the fantasy-inspired Luna Park on almost 40 acres of land next to Steeplechase. One of the rides at Luna Park was The Scenic Railway – actually an early roller coaster. On the other side of the Atlantic was another Luna Park located near Porte Maillot in Paris, France. This Luna Park opened in 1907/9 to great success and featured exciting rides and roller coasters such as ‘Le Scenic Railway’.
But what is the connection to Titanic? Second-class passenger Franz Pulbaum’s luggage had a number of postcards and documents connecting him to both Luna Parks. In fact, it appears that he worked as a mechanic, most likely for amusement rides, perhaps at both parks. This was a unique job for an interesting young man that will forever be remembered as a Titanic victim.