|1960 Chicago Yellow Pages.|
Apparently, several centers were opened around the Chicago area and in communities around America. Visitors paid 50¢ for one half-hour on one of the trampolines, according to Chicago Tribune archives from the early 1960s. I personally attended the one on Devon Avenue in Chicago. The trampolines were leg-less and laid inches above ground level, over an open pit of about 3 foot deep.
Tons of fun, Right?
But then things turn sour. In November 1960, a father and daughter sued Bounce Land for $50,000 in damages, claiming that a 6-year-old girl suffered a sprained right foot when she fell from a trampoline. When her father, James Jennings, bounced on the trampoline to see what was wrong with it, he came down on steel supports, suffering a back injury that forced him to be hospitalized for six weeks, the article said.Another story from June 1964 said an Oak Park man was granted $150,000 by a Circuit Court jury after being paralyzed from the waist down in a trampoline accident.
John L. Shea was 18 when he paid 50¢ to use a trampoline at Bounce Land in Melrose Park, Illinois, for 30 minutes. He was thrown off balance by defective springs and hospitalized for one year.
Bounce Land and other companies of trampoline parks closed.
Compiled by Dr. Neil Gale, Ph.D.