Giant Strides on the Playgrounds

The giant stride is a long-since-removed playground apparatus that dates from early 1900s. Simply put, it was a tall pole with ropes/ladders attached to it. Children could grab hold of the handles and run in circles, so fast that their feet would leave the ground. For safety reasons, it was mostly removed from playgrounds by the 1960s, though some remain.

Another Giant Stride - at a playground in New York City, ca. 1910-1915. Source: Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division (click).

Another Giant Stride – at a playground in New York City, ca. 1910-1915. Source: Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division (click).

In graduate school I researched the manufacturing and development of the giant stride, and was fortunate to find a few images of giant strides. I’m jumping back into that research. Readers, have you come across any giant strides or remnants of giant strides? If so, would be willing to share those photographs? If so, please let me know. Your help would be very much appreciated. Here’s what one might look like today:

A giant stride on a Colorado playground. Click for original source.

A giant stride on a Colorado playground. Click for original source.

Previous playground posts on PiP:Playgrounds of YesterdayPreservation Photos #25Woodford PlaygroundPlaygroundsPreservation Photos #57.

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8 thoughts on “Giant Strides on the Playgrounds

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  3. There is a ‘Giant Stride’ in the playground in good ol’ TIPark; I’ll send you a pic when I get up there for the summer in late May.. peace, Ellen

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  5. It was even more fun than as described. You could give another kid “lifts” by reaching back, grabbing a free hand and then swinging him or her past yourself and on to higher heights! Oh the broken bones and wonderful thrills! We’re still talking about it (I’m 55)!

  6. That was my favorite thing to play on from kindergarten – 6th grade. I’m 36 years old. I don’t know how many times I got bonked in the eye/head, but it worked your reflexes…learn how to do or get off.

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