The History of Mechanical Bulls

April 15, 2022

For nearly a century, mechanical bulls have been providing people with entertainment. While Buckin’ Wild hasn’t been around for the mechanical bull’s whole history, we’ve been around for a good bit of it and have a deep understanding of the rest. We wanted to talk about the mechanical bull’s history today, how it was developed, and how it grew in popularity.

The First Mechanical Bull

Electric mechanical bulls were introduced in the 1930s and were at first used mostly by real bull riders for practice. To this day, many bull riders still use mechanical bulls to train. One of the earliest known entertainment uses of a mechanical bull was at Bertrand Island Amusement Park in New Jersey. The bull was introduced during the 1930s and was billed as “Ride ‘Em Cowboy!”.

Earlier Forms of the Mechanical Bull

Though the electric version came out in the ‘30’s, there were still “mechanical bulls” being used before then. Earlier “mechanical bulls” were usually built out of a rope-and-pulley system attached to a barrel. Someone would sit on the barrel while others would pull on the ropes, simulating the feeling of riding a bucking bull.

Urban Cowboy

Mechanical bulls experienced growth throughout the 20th century, but one thing in particular boosted their popularity, the 1980 movie Urban Cowboy. The movie starred John Travolta and Debra Winger. In the movie, the two ride a mechanical bull, and for many in the audience, this was one of the first times seeing a mechanical bull in action. After the movie, it became much more common to find them in bars and at parties.

Looking for Something Fun for Your Next Party?

Looking to do something exciting at your next party or get-together? Renting a mechanical bull can be the perfect way to give your guests a unique experience. At Buckin’ Wild, we’ve been providing Marylanders with hours of buckin’ fun for years! Get in contact with us today.

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