Talk:Arrow Dynamics

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
WikiProject Amusement Parks / Roller Coasters  (Rated B-class, Low-importance)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject Amusement Parks, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of Amusement parks on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks.
B-Class article B  This article has been rated as B-Class on the project's quality scale.
 Low  This article has been rated as Low-importance on the project's importance scale.
Taskforce icon
This article is supported by Roller Coasters task force (marked as Mid-importance).

Excellent book on the Disney years at Arrow[edit]

"Roller Coasters, Flumes and Flying Saucers" is a fascinating book about the company's founders and the company's work for Walt Disney, sort of an oral history and collection of documents and photos. It sort of comes off as a slightly disorganized and incomplete attempt by the family to preserve in print some history and lore that otherwise would have been lost. Someone who knows how to use Wikipedia better than I should add it in the proper place as a reference work.

ISBN-10: 0965735354

ISBN-13: 978-0965735353 —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:55, 21 January 2008 (UTC)

Arrow Development Employed 1973 to 1980 approx.[edit] 22:12, 28 December 2006 (UTC)Arrow development was a great company to work for. I would love to re-contact any employees that were employed there from 1973 to 1980 when i left the company. Arrow was truly a family company. Arrow"s R&D included during my tenure the Steaple Chase roller coaster ride and the free wheel coaster once known as the flying wing which i believe was never fully developed and sold to the public venues. If you are interested in Arrow Development please feel free to drop me a line and I will be more then happy to talk about the good old day's.


If you don't mind my asking what other projects did Arrow work on and never completed. I would love to know what other models they could've produced. (Coasterman1234 01:33, 28 February 2007 (UTC))


Regarding the statement "Arrow made a lasting impact on the roller coaster industry", this doesn't need a citation. If you read the article it states (just before that) that Arrow developed the world's first tubular steel track roller coaster. Most coasters built today use tubular steel track. It's obvious that Arrow made an impact in that way. Also, they made an impact in another way, the development of the first modern inverting roller coaster, many coasters today feature multi-inversion layouts. It's obvious Arrow made a lasting impact in that way. You can't cite those kind of things, you have to look at modern roller coasters to see that the Arrow did make an impact on the industry.

Also, the statement "they designed and created around 100 roller coasters during the decades they operated" doesn't need a citation either because the article lists, in the table just below the statement, Arrow's 100+ coasters!

(Coasterman1234 17:24, 13 March 2007 (UTC))

Fourth dimensional roller coaster[edit]

Wait, WHAT?? 14:51, 8 March 2010 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk)

"Veteran" Status[edit]

Edgar stated in an interview recorded in "Flumes..." that he and his brother Eugene registered for the draft and enlisted in the Army Air Corps, but explains that he had a deferment related to his employment at Hendy Iron Works. His brother Eugene did serve in the South Pacific, flying B-24's in the 868th Bomb Squadron, and was killed in action 16 December 1944. From census and residence records, it appears that none of the four founders served active duty during World War II. Unless there is a verifiable reference, I'd like to delete the portion of the statement that they were veterans.DWmFrancis (talk) 01:59, 2 December 2013 (UTC)

Focus of this article[edit]

A discussion about the future focus of this article is underway here. Please comment on the discussion. Themeparkgc  Talk  23:03, 8 January 2014 (UTC)

I've started to clean up some of the issues, primarily having to do with chronology and naming, grammar, punctuation and links to other articles.

For future reference, the chronology of the Arrow bankruptcies, buyouts and name changes is:

  • 1945 to 1981 - Arrow Development, including the period after 1972 when owned by Rio Grande Industries.
  • 1981 to 1984 - Arrow - Huss. Bankruptcy late in November 1984, two weeks after Toomer relocated his family to Utah.
  • January 1986 to Dec 3, 2001 - Arrow Dynamics
  • Oct 28, 2002 - Bought by S & S Power
  • August 25, 2006 - Stan Checketts and Gene Mulvihill purchase controlling interest of S & S.
  • February 2009, Larsen MacColl Partners acquires significant equity interest including all shares owned by Checketts.

DWmFrancis (talk) 19:13, 7 January 2014 (UTC)

@DWmFrancis: I've edited your post to add bullet points because Wikipedia discards single line breaks and compacts all of it into a single paragraph. Hope you don't mind.
Anyway, I wanted to make a point about Arrow's history. Yes, the ownership and name of the company changed several times, but in essence wasn't it the one company? I feel up until the point where S&S bought the rights to the 4D coasters and such, all coasters should be categorised as Arrow Dynamics, but where applicable be labelled as Arrow Development, etc. At the moment there are categories such as this which are populated but do not exist. If we were going to create multiple categories for the one company for its different name changes, then we'd have to do a lot of work to split S&S Worldwide/S&S Power/S&S Arrow, Philadelphia Toboggan Coasters/Philadelphia Toboggan Company, and E&F Miler Industries/Miler Coaster, Inc. just to name a few. In reality this is separating roller coaster articles when they shouldn't be. Themeparkgc  Talk  22:50, 7 January 2014 (UTC)
I agree with Themeparkgc here. Name changes do not a different company make. Both Arrow Development and Arrow Dynamics should be under the same category. jcgoble3 (talk) 07:15, 8 January 2014 (UTC)
Greetings all - and thank you for your ideas. I agree, mostly. My rationale is that over the 30+ year history of Arrow there really were three very different companies. I'm basing that on the historical account and my observations as a business analyst.
From 1945 to 1972 Ed Bacon and Karl Morgan ran and owned Arrow Development personally.
They sold out to Rio Grande Industries in 1972/73, right after Disney informed them that Central Shops would be doing all Disney's work in house from that point on. Morgan and Bacon stayed on for a few years, as advisors, but during that time there really wasn't much new ride development done. RGI was milking the cash cow. That is also when the flow of new patents stopped.
RGI sold the company to Huss in 1981. By then Karl and Ed were completely gone and Ron Toomer - who joined Arrow in 1966 - and Dana Morgan - Ed's son - were pretty much running the show. 1981 is also when the name legally changed to Arrow-Huss. At that point, the key people, corporate ownership and ride systems under development were completely different. Of course, Huss Park Attractions has continued and in terms of scope they are probably closest to what Arrow Development was in their peak years, but Huss clearly didn't want to keep them afloat. The intellectual property raid was over, the cash well had run dry.
A-H went bankrupt in 1984. Arrow Dynamics was formed in January of 1986 with Ron Toomer and a dozen other A-H era employees. They went bankrupt in 2001, at which point S & S comes into the picture. BTW - None of the sales literature I've been able to locate says Arrow Development after 1981.
BTW - Roller coaster fans remember them for coasters, but their dark rides, flume rides and mini auto rides were a huge part of the business. You can certainly group Mine Trains, Coasters and Steeplechase rides together technologically, but their installations of guided track vehicle rides (~100), water course rides, tea-cup rides and Merry-Go-Rounds were very different systems.
Having said all that, I don't want to force you guys into a lot of changes to the terrific work you have already done. Your focus is coasters and mine is Arrow. I don't think Arrow Dynamics is the same company that Karl and Ed formed and ran until 1972, hence the "labeling" issue, which I'd like to see corrected. Arrow Development worked in relative obscurity for many years and I'd like to see that rectified. DWmFrancis (talk) 16:26, 8 January 2014 (UTC)
@DWmFrancis: This is great information! I agree that during each era, Arrow was in many ways a different company. However, evolving and changing over time is something a lot of companies do. If its name and intellectual property remains intact through each transition, then all that change would still be considered a part of S&S Arrow's history. We shouldn't need to create a separate article/category to represent each era. We should actually merge the Arrow Dynamics and Arrow Development articles into one, since neither is really all that long. Then afterwards, both the article and category could be renamed to S&S Arrow to match the current name of the company. Anyone searching for Arrow Development, Arrow Huss, or Arrow Dynamics would be redirected to S&S Arrow. My 2¢ anyway. --GoneIn60 (talk) 20:44, 8 January 2014 (UTC)
@ GoneIn60 - I totally follow your thinking, with regard to the company legacy flow thru/name changes idea.
When writing historically accurate articles, I think its best to be precise with regard to product attribution. For example, the P-51 Mustang was designed and built by North American Aviation. No one calls it the Boeing Mustang, although NA was bought by Rockwell and Rockwell Aviation was acquired by Boeing. (eg; The Wikipedia article calls it the North American P-51.)
I'd be pleased to help out with a merge, but owing to my personal bias towards Arrow, I'd rather not title it S & S Worldwide (The current last guys in the chain). Even S&S says about themselves that they were founded in 1994. The problem as I see it, is that the chain of provenance is too murky. Arrow Development -> Rio Grande Industries - > Arrow-Huss -> Arrow Dynamics -> S&S Arrow -> S&S Power... it's like trying to follow a hot potato and calling the last catcher the name of the first. And in this case, as you said, the name and intellectual property did not remain intact thru the whole chain of transactions. --DWmFrancis (talk) 21:07, 8 January 2014 (UTC)
I started to post the following before you updated the thread, so here it is:
--> I'm going to revise my proposal. I stumbled across this court document in which S&S claims that it only purchased "some" assets from Arrow Dynamics, and is in no way a "successor" to the bankrupt company. Unless a similar claim exists regarding the acquisition of Arrow Development by Huss or the acquisition of Arrow-Huss by Arrow Dynamics, I still think the history of all three should remain in one article (called Arrow Dynamics). However, clearly S&S Arrow's history should not be included. --GoneIn60 (talk) 21:13, 8 January 2014 (UTC)
@DWmFrancis: Now with that said, I agree with you about having proper product attribution. In each roller coaster article, for example, we can list Arrow Development, Arrow-Huss, etc., as the developer when applicable. However, the history of the company is a separate issue that I feel can exist in one article. Unless the length of that article gets to be very long, I don't see a reason why we need three separate ones. Additional thoughts? --GoneIn60 (talk) 21:18, 8 January 2014 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────@GoneIn60 - Almost works for me. Now I have to go look at that court document. Have you looked at the Arrow Development Wiki page recently? --DWmFrancis (talk) 21:36, 8 January 2014 (UTC)

I haven't actually. I looked at it just now, though. Did you create it? --GoneIn60 (talk) 22:32, 8 January 2014 (UTC)
@GoneIn60 - Yup, atsa my baby. It used to be just a redirect to the Arrow Dynamics article.
DWmFrancis (talk) 22:37, 8 January 2014 (UTC)
@DWmFrancis, GoneIn60, and Jcgoble3: Okay, after reading through this and skimming the new Arrow Development article, I am thinking I might change my position. Essentially I am thinking we split the articles based on when it went bankrupt. The companies never come back from bankruptcy, a different company acquires the previous assets. One example is The Gravity Group which was formed by former Custom Coasters International employees. Another is L&T Systems which had its assets acquired by Preston & Barbieri. So, this is my idea:
  • An article named Arrow Development or Arrow-Huss detailing the company's establishment, Disney contributions, ... etc ..., bankruptcy and acquiring by Arrow Dynamics. I'd be in favour of Arrow Development as the article name because the rename only really markets the company's ownership for a short period.
  • An article named Arrow Dynamics which clearly distinguishes it from the previous company and highlights the contributitions Arrow Dynamics made up until its bankruptcy. This article should also make note of S&S Worldwide's creation of the S&S Arrow division and subsequent acquisition of Arrow Dynamics' assets.
  • Clarify the S&S Worldwide article to better reflect what actually happened. At the moment is makes it look like Arrow Dynamics was purchased as a full company by S&S.
Thoughts? Themeparkgc  Talk  23:01, 8 January 2014 (UTC)
@ GoneIn60 & Jcgoble3 - Works for me. It would be pretty easy to just splice the stuff I've written on the transition into the Arrow Dynamics Article, or the exisiting "owners" of that article can do it. --DWmFrancis (talk) 23:25, 8 January 2014 (UTC)
At this point the discussion has become far more in-depth and complex than I care to deal with in my semi-retired state, so I'll exit stage left and let you guys sort it out. :) jcgoble3 (talk) 00:59, 9 January 2014 (UTC)
The problem for me is that Arrow Development and Arrow-Huss weren't extinguished during the "takeovers". They were merged the first time (Arrow-Huss) and re-emerged from bankruptcy later on (Arrow Dynamics). The case dealing with S&S Arrow so far appears to be the only time "assets" were purchased while the rest of the company was left in ashes. Therefore, I don't think splitting up the history of those three is the way to go, especially since the content in each one will be relatively scarce if we do.
@DWmFrancis: Just as an FYI, articles aren't "owned" here in Wikipedia – see WP:OWN. Any content an editor submits is free to the public domain and can be edited or removed through consensus. --GoneIn60 (talk) 21:41, 9 January 2014 (UTC)
@GoneIn60: I was under the assumption that Arrow Development/Arrow-Huss went bankrupt and a new firm, Arrow Dynamics, Inc., was created. The only government record which links the two I can find online is this, however, it lists its source as Reynolds' 1999 book. Themeparkgc  Talk  02:07, 10 January 2014 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Scott Rutherford's The American Roller Coaster written in 2000 states "Arrow ownership changed hands until eventually becoming today's Arrow Dynamics" (link). Harvard Business Press published a project management guide that claimed that Arrow "weathered two bankruptcies", "changed hands three times", and had its "final bankruptcy" in 2001, "when its assets were sold to a competitor" (link). Roller Coasters: United States and Canada describes the Arrow-Huss formation as a "merger" that preceded the conversion to Arrow Dynamics (link).
These are just the first few reliable sources I came across (I actually own Rutherford's book). The consensus is clearly that all three are the same company – renamed, repossessed, transformed at times, but the same company nevertheless. Unless a reliable, published source states very clearly that they were not legally linked, then I don't see why we should break up the company's history into two or three separate articles. --GoneIn60 (talk) 05:44, 10 January 2014 (UTC)

Ok. In my second backflip in as many days, I'm back on the side I was before all this. Arrow Dynamics covering all variations of the company, and a small section on S&S Arrow in the S&S Worldwide article. Themeparkgc  Talk  07:18, 10 January 2014 (UTC)
No problem. Thanks for your input. I'm trying to make sense of all this myself, so I'm glad we had this discussion! Others may want to weigh in before merging the articles, but that looks like the direction we're headed at this point. --GoneIn60 (talk) 07:46, 10 January 2014 (UTC)
Greetings all - I came across a reference to Arrow Development Company, at which may add some light to the legal status of Arrow Development Co. as an entity. Their California business registration number was C0200450. The Status is shown as "Merged Out", which legally means *merged out of existence*.
The other reference is from the product brochures and engineering drawings produced be Arrow Development and Arrow-Huss before and after 1981. The earlier drawings and brochures state the company name as Arrow Development at 1555 Plymouth. After 1980, the Company name is Arrow-Huss, dba, Arrow, Inc. with the Clearfield, Utah address, with one exception; On January 12, 1981, Arrow-Huss, Inc., filed a Statement & Designation By Foreign Corporation with an ID of 01014304, not 0200450. 1980 is also the last year operations were conducted at 1555 Plymouth.
There is a copy of Huss Trading Corporation's product brochure at, which shows Arrow-Huss with a 5600 Butler Lane, Scotts Valley, CA address. As I recall, Dana Morgan lived out there for a while before starting up Morgan Manufacturing.
I'm not sure it makes a lot of difference whether there is one article or two, except for one thing; The magnitude of the work Ed Morgan and Karl Bacon did - which is definitely Arrow Development - was pretty much unknown, except inside the Roller Coaster community, for a very long time. Karl and Ed's humility and Disney's tendency to not give credit to the sub-contractors, has kept their story fragmentary and largely untold for nearly 70 years. I'm going to keep enhancing the Arrow Development article in any case. There is a great story here, even thru the messy confusion after 1980, and I'd just like to see it told as clearly and accurately as possible --DWmFrancis (talk) 15:37, 10 January 2014 (UTC)
Typically, there are three inactive statuses depending on the state: merged out of existence, withdrew, and administratively dissolved. The latter two would mean cease to exist "completely". Merged out of existence means the prior name no longer exists, but the business survives under a new entity that it "merged" into. It's just a fancy legal definition for two companies becoming one; the surviving entity inherits all the assets and liabilities of the other. Legal semantics anyone? :) Seriously though, it shouldn't be a big deal to keep everything in one article. We'll have a section dedicated to each era. --GoneIn60 (talk) 17:44, 10 January 2014 (UTC)
This has been an interesting discussion, and at this point I am still undecided whether to support a single article or multiple articles. The one comment I will make is that even though the principals may have changed, the product did not. There are a few exceptions, but without looking at the name plate, no one would be able to tell a later model Arrow Development roller coaster from an Arrow Huss coaster or an Arrow Dynamics coaster. Yes, improvements were made over the years, but updated Arrow Dynamics trains could be placed on an Arrow Development coaster without any modifications — as a matter of fact, several have had trains replaced. The same holds true with the log flumes and auto rides and many of the other products that Arrow sold.JlACEer (talk) 18:31, 11 January 2014 (UTC)

Gonein60 recent edits[edit]

I've got to say I'm not really liking the recent changes you made to Arrow. I think you've introduced a number of errors in the third paragraph. There weren't several changes of ownership, and changes of ownership don't necessarily indicate a hardship. I know you found a reference that says the company declared bankruptcy twice, but that is not correct. When Bacon and Morgan decided to retire, they sold the company to Rio Grande Industries (first change of hands). Rio Grande sold to Huss (second change of hands). Huss got into financial trouble because of their dealings with the World's Fair and Darien Lake. Huss declared bankruptcy and that is when Toomer and Company negotiated a buyout and formed Arrow Dynamics (new company or third change of hands). Arrow Dynamics eventually declared bankruptcy after the 4th dimension coaster and S&S bought the assets. So I count two changes of hands, one reorganization and then the final bankruptcy. Rutherford's book simply states that the company changed hands — he does not say several times. Therefore I do not believe the statement in third paragraph about several changes of hands and re-emerging from a second bankruptcy is correct. Unless you find a better source that actually explains when and where a bankruptcy took place prior to Huss, I would not rely on the Harvard Business PressJlACEer (talk) 22:56, 10 January 2014 (UTC)

@JlACEer: I have no issues with others wanting to further revise what I've changed. However, I would strongly oppose taking the lead back to what it was previously. It should sound more like a summary of what's to come and intrigue the reader to want to read more. I think that much has improved. We do need to find more sources to verify the information, so for now, we can revert back to some of the previous wording including getting rid of "hardship". A majority of the changes though make the lead sound more professional and encyclopedic, IMO. We just need to work more on the content, so I agree with that. --GoneIn60 (talk) 17:07, 11 January 2014 (UTC)
I agree, it reads much better, that is why I did not want to undo it. If I get a chance this weekend I'll try to work on it.JlACEer (talk) 18:13, 11 January 2014 (UTC)
I was reading more about the Harvard Business Press source above. One of the authors is Joe Knight, a former employee at Arrow who has an MBA in Finance. The number of bankruptcies and changing of hands is suspect, I agree, but this has to be considered a reliable source. Unless we can find other reliable sources that disagree or paint a different picture, I don't see how we can discard it at this point. --GoneIn60 (talk) 19:09, 13 January 2014 (UTC)