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So what became of this Pleasure-Railroad? Alexander Aitken, a "British citizen", filed his patent from Oudtshoorn, Cape Colony, South Africa. Perhaps he licensed his device to a company located in the United States; perhaps he went balmy and believed giant bugs were attacking him.

There are so many possible scenarios.

A year later, an American inventor named John Miller invented "under friction wheels" which locked the rollercoaster car to the track. This revolutionized the rollercoaster industry, making it safer for steeper drops and higher top speeds. Miller continued to invent and patent rollercoaster innovations; a large number of these patents were safety-related. When the history of the rollercoaster is discussed, John Miller will always be mentioned.

Mr. Aitken probably will not.