Monday, May 4, 2009

Celebrating Schmeck

As more and more lift hill motors across the country crank up for another season of thrills, one local newspaper has paused to pay tribute to an industry legend. The Reading Eagle recently published a really nice story celebrating the life and legacy of Reading, PA native Herbert P. Schmeck. Schmeck, who had no formal engineering training, designed over 210 rides (including 80 wooden roller coasters) during his 66 short years on this planet and rose through the ranks to serve as president of the Philadelphia Toboggan Company. His surviving creations, many of which reside in his home state, continue to receive widespread praise to this day.

"Herbert P. Schmeck" may not be a household name around Reading, but perhaps it will stick in the minds of at least a few more people should they be lucky enough to stumble across this article. In addition to providing a brief chronology of Schmeck's career, it also features a sidebar and slide show highlighting some of his local masterpieces as well as the customary "history of roller coasters" bit. It's always wonderful to see a historical piece such as this appear in a local paper. All you Schmeck fans out there will definitely want to check it out!