Theme Park, Amusement Park and Attractions Industry News

Karl Bacon dies

Arrow founder remembered

Karl Bacon, who started Arrow Development with Ed Morgan in 1946, passed away on November 14, 2008. He was 98. Karl is survived by his wife of 67 years, Jane Bacon, two daughters, three grandchildren and two great grandchildren.

Karl Bacon and Ed Morgan started Arrow in 1946 as a small machine shop in Mountain View, California, but the company went on to make a lasting impact on the amusement industry. The team collaborated with Walt Disney to create many of the original Disney park attractions. Karl and Ed introduced tubular steel tracks on Disney’s Matterhorn ride, revolutionising rollercoaster technology forever.

This paved the way for Karl and Ed to create stronger, faster and smoother coasters eventually capable of manoeuvres thought to be impossible, such as the corkscrew. All this was done without the aid of computers.

Even more remarkable was the fact that Karl had no formal engineering education. He was entirely self-taught, and was considered to be one of the best in his field. Innovators as well, Karl and Ed created entirely new categories of rides (flumes, spinning teacups, flying saucers). Karl and Ed were inducted into the IAAPA Hall of Fame in 1998. Their accomplishments at the New York World’s Fair and numerous amusement parks around the world are admired each and every day.

With so much success, Karl was an incredibly humble man who shied away from any attention. He was dedicated and loving to his family, and is a source of pride and admiration to many. His legacy lives on in those who admire his work, and in every smiling amusement park patron.

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