Perilous Playthings: Dangerous Playgrounds From the 70s

Modern playgrounds are all about safety, which can sometimes result in an unfortunate loss of fun. But back in the 70s, playgrounds were built to thrill the young park patron, often with a fair amount of danger – or at least what we would think of as danger today.

With super-high slides lacking safety enclosures and metalbars just begging kids to get their heads stuck, these playgrounds have everything an inquisitive and risk-loving kid could hope for.

By today’s standards, these playground sets are a lawsuit waiting to happen. But before parents started suing for every little bump, bruise and severed limb, this type of structure was a common sight in suburbs all around the country.

Playground manufacturers sold their sets partially on the perceived healthiness of anything that got kids up and moving around. And based on today’s lack of awesome playgrounds and alarming childhood obesity epidemic, they may have been on to something.

From humongous robots to space shuttles to bizarre round swings, these vintage playground sets bring to mind all of the fun afternoons we spent as kids doing things that we wouldn’t think of letting our own kids do today.

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See more in Antique Gadgets or under Vintage & Retro. December, 2010.