From children to adults, who doesn’t love a ride in the Ferris Wheel!
The Ferris wheel was first designed for visitors to get a bird’s eye view of the Chicago World Fair in 1893. The motivation behind its invention was the wish to match the brilliance of the Eiffel Tower in Paris.
The design of the Ferris wheel was proposed by George Washington Ferris. He was a civil engineer who specialized in bridges and railroads. Ferris faced opposition from several engineers who were doubtful about the working of this monumental structure. Ferris however was undeterred and he went on to successfully test his wheel. Ferris wheel became the center of attraction at the Chicago fair.
This 264 feet engineering marvel had 36 passenger cars, each fitted with 40 revolving chairs. It could accommodate a total of 2160 passengers. Each car had a conductor who was responsible for the comfort and safety of the passenger. He would also point out the attractions of the Chicago World’s Fair. The wheel took 20 minutes to make two revolutions. The ride cost 50 cents per person.
The Ferris Wheel opened to the public on June 21, 1893 and was a huge success. It continued to operate there until after the trade fair ended in October 1893. It was then dismantled and rebuilt in Lincoln Park, Chicago, in 1895. It was dismantled again and rebuilt for the 1904 World’s Fair in St. Louis, Missouri. It was demolished there in 1906.
The Ferris Wheel is huge source of enjoyment and can been seen in many amusement parks today. The London Eye, a giant Ferris wheel on the South Bank of the River Thames in London is a major tourist attraction.
- Book: 1001 Inventions That Changed The World – Ferris Wheel, Pg. 487