A wooden flume was recently built to conform to conditions that had been considered by some as being impossible of execution. The flume, which was elliptical in section with the bottom forming a curve of about 10-foot radius and the sides one of 6-foot radius, was constructed on a curve of 100-foot radius. The length of the section was 200 feet, and after 100 feet of the flume had been laid, the thickness of the staves was reduced from 2-1/4 inches to 1-1/16 inches, requiring a very difficult joint to be made. The principal staves of this flume were made of carefully selected kiln-dried Douglas fir.

  1. Eamon says: November 11, 20081:36 am

    Ok, but why?

  2. John says: November 11, 20085:16 am

    People sometimes do things simply because others say they can’t be done.

  3. Sean says: November 11, 20086:02 am

    Obviously a reason to use the word ‘flume’ as many times as possible in an article. Flume.

  4. Craig says: November 11, 20089:47 am

    Get your flume on.

  5. Charlie says: November 11, 200812:33 pm

    Eamon: I have no idea, but it sure is a pretty piece of carpentry.

  6. Harry says: November 11, 200812:55 pm

    It was probably water-filled conveyor system, possibly for lumber.

  7. Rick Auricchio says: November 11, 20081:03 pm

    It appears to be indoors.

    Aha! The prototype for Disneyland’s “Pirates of the Caribbean!”

    Side note: The “Pirates” ride at Disneyland opened in 1967. The first film in the series opened in 2003. A couple years later, Disneyland reworked the original ride to include bits from the films, including an animatronic Johnny Depp character.

    So the film was patterned after the ride, which was then patterned after the film…

  8. LightningRose says: November 11, 20083:26 pm

    Rick, I think the flume is an outdoor flume, and the beams across the top of the flume are to provide tensile strength for the flume.

  9. Toronto says: November 11, 20086:50 pm

    I’ve still got one beer left from my six pack after playing the “Flume!” drinking game.

    Wait! There’s a sixth in the photo caption! (pssht!)

  10. blueferretdog says: November 11, 20089:34 pm

    I once rode a ride in St Louis called the “Bobsled” that had a flume like this. That was a long time ago late 50’s early 60’s . It had sleds that were mounted on casters and rolled freely down the flume. Probably too “dangerous” for modern times but was loads of fun. I wonder if that was it. The ride later burned to the ground.

  11. sporkinum says: November 12, 200812:00 am

    They made the first half pipe/skatepark. Too bad the urethane wheeled skateboard wasn’t invented for another 40 years.

  12. Steve says: November 12, 20089:28 pm

    I’ve seen a lot of flame wars in my time, could this be the start of the first flume war?


  13. David Brodbeck says: November 13, 20083:50 pm

    @10: I think “Bobsled” style roller coasters fell out of style mainly because they couldn’t do inversions (e.g., loops and corkscrews.)

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