Circle Swing

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Circle Swing
Other Name(s) Giant Circle Swing
Flying Circle Swing
Flying Swing
Circle Ride
Spiral Swing
Type Rotating ride
Swinging Rides
Park Section North
Built 1904
Opened 1904
Manufacturer Traver Circle Swing Company
Designer Harry G. Traver
Architect North Penn Iron Company
Width 120 ft. (36.6 m) diameter
Height 90 ft. (27.5 m)
Speed 40 mph (64 kph)
Vehicle Type Cars (open boat design)
Number of Vehicles 6

The Circle Swing, also known as the Giant Circle Swing[1], Flying Circle Swing, Flying Swing, Circle Ride[2], and spiral swing[3] was a rotating ride installed in Olentangy Park in 1904.[4] It was invented by Harry G. Traver and built by the Traver Circle Swing Company[5][6][7][8][9]. It was built by the North Penn Iron Company of Philadelphia and cost over $8,000 ($266,784 in 2023) to construct.[10] It was located near Fair Japan, then moved next to the Loop-the-Loop. It opened to the public sometime during the week of July 31, 1904, after delays in building[11] but the ride worked irregularly for the first few weeks.


The ride consisted of a 75-foot (23 m) tall steel tower (some sources say 90 feet (27.5 m)), which revolves around a vertical shaft. Connected to this shaft at the top of the tower were six radiating arms described as being "like spokes of a great wheel or legs of a gigantic spider. Steel cables extended from the arms to carry cars of passengers. An electric motor at the base spun the arms, cables, and cars with the centrifugal force raising the cars over 30 feet (9 m) above the ground at the full speed of 40 mph (64 kph). The circle created at its widest was 120 feet (36.5 m) in diameter.[10][1]

Notable Events

On August 5, kits to display a banner for H. Sage Valentine's mayoral run became tangled in the Circle Swing's lines, stopping the ride's operation.[12]



In 1907, Amy Wright, 22, was found unconscious while riding the circle swing. She was taken to her home on North 18th Street by Fisher's ambulance, where she fully recovered[13].


In February 1906, the Traver Circle Swing Company sued the park for $2,392 ($74,723 in 2022 dollars) due to non-payment of royalties.[5]

See Also


  1. 1.0 1.1 "The Giant Flying Circle Swing at Olentangy Park." The Hocking Sentinel (Logan, Ohio). 13 July 1905. Pg. 4. Retrieved from on 11 April 2017.
  2. Barret, Richard E. "Olentangy Park: Four Decades of Fun." Columbus and Central Ohio Historian. Vol. 1. April 1984. Pg. 11.
  3. The Billboard. 20 May 1905. Vol. 17. Iss. 20. Pg. 9.
  4. "Olentangy Park, Theater and Zoological Garden." Columbus Evening Dispatch. 1 May 1904. Pg. 29.
  5. 5.0 5.1 "Sue for Royalties." Columbus Evening Dispatch. 2 February 1906. Pg. 10. Retrieved from the Columbus Dispatch Digital Archives.
  6. "Roundabout." Google Patents. US Patent US830688A
  7. "Circle-swing." Google Patents. U.S. Patent US830687A.
  8. "Amusement apparatus." Google Patents. U.S. Patent US842276A.
  9. "Car for swings." Google Patents. U.S. Patent US790989A.
  10. 10.0 10.1 "Olentangy Park, a Coney Island Rival" The Columbus Sunday Dispatch. 1 May 1904. Pg. 4.
  11. "Summer Amusements." The Columbus Evening Dispatch. 31 July 1904. Pg. 4.
  12. "Mayoralty Fight Not Lacking in Real Originality." The Columbus Sunday Dispatch. 8 August 1909. Pg. 3.
  13. "Young Woman is Made Unconscious by Circle Swing." Columbus Evening Dispatch. 31 May 1907. Pg. 2. Retrieved by the Columbus Dispatch Digital Archives.