The early sixties brought things down to earth with a major new development....
as simple as....gravity.
At right, Elmer Lawrence and Bill Cassidy discuss their new system for double-level dark rides, a system that would boost Pretzel's production of many new and spectacular rides for parks and carnivals.
While Pretzel's park and portable double-decker rides were selling briskly, shop superintendent Elmer Lawrence conceived another striking innovation. With the new design, cars were hauled to the upper level by a link belt and then released. The flooring of the ride then followed a gently declining pitch, just enough for gravity to take over. The cars would continue rolling through the dark tunnels and hairpin turns until arriving at the exit. The increase in speed provided a hybrid effect, like something between a dark ride and a Wild Mouse coaster. Aside from the lift conveyor, gravity was the only motive power, so the cars required no motors and the track carried no electricity. Like all brilliant ideas, it was simple, productive and rather obvious.

The production of the Gravity rides led to one of Pretzel's most ambitious projects: the portable gravity-operated Caveman (or Caveland) dark ride. The photo above
shows a preliminary scale model of the ride, built by Elmer Lawrence.