It All Started With a Rocket Ship
By John Betts
AS I WAS DRIVING home back to Chicago from Zanesville, Ohio, in the summer of 2003, I had no idea what I had gotten myself into. I had just picked up a rare 1952 Chicago Coin Super Jet coin-operated kiddie ride from a seller I had found on Ebay. I had seen one of these kiddie rides quite a few years earlier and had always hoped to eventually find one for my own eclectic collection. They were rare then and even rarer now but I finally found one in good enough condition that was capable of being restored.
Having primarily been a toy collector with an emphasis on pressed steel, postwar battery-operated tin lithograph and postwar friction tin lithograph, I really thought this would be my one and only kiddie ride to compliment the rest of my “toys.” I vividly remember thinking that I would never get nor need another one. Well, I am here to tell you to “never say never.”
Fast forward 17 years from that eventful day and I realize that I have, over the years, acquired over 250 coin-operated and amusement park rides from both here in the USA and Europe since my first acquisition in the summer of 2003.