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The original 1893 Chicago Ferris Wheel

The original Ferris Wheel, sometimes also referred to as the Chicago Wheel,[1][2][3] opened to the public on June 21, 1893, at the World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago, Illinois. Intended to rival the 324-metre (1,063 ft) Eiffel Tower, the centerpiece of the 1889 Paris Exposition, it was the Columbian Exposition's largest attraction, with a height of 80.4 metres (264 ft).

It was designed and constructed by George Washington Gale Ferris, Jr., graduate of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and a Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, bridge-builder. He began his career in the railroad industry and then pursued an interest in bridge building. Ferris understood the growing need for structural steel and founded G.W.G. Ferris & Co. in Pittsburgh, a firm that tested and inspected metals for railroads and bridge builders.

The wheel rotated on a 71-ton, 45.5-foot axle comprising what was at that time the world's largest hollow forging, manufactured in Pittsburgh by the Bethlehem Iron Company and weighing 89,320 pounds, together with two 16-foot diameter cast-iron spiders weighing 53,031 pounds.[2]

There were 36 cars, each fitted with 40 revolving chairs and able to accommodate up to 60 people, giving a total capacity of 2,160.[1] It took 20 minutes for the wheel to make two revolutions, the first involving six stops to allow passengers to exit and enter and the second a nine-minute non-stop rotation, for which the ticket holder paid 50 cents.

The Exposition ended in October 1893, and the wheel closed in April 1894 and was dismantled and stored until the following year. It was then rebuilt on Chicago's North Side, near Lincoln Park, next to an exclusive neighborhood. This prompted William D. Boyce, then a local resident, to file a Circuit Court action against the owners of the wheel to have it removed, but without success. It operated there from October 1895 until 1903, when it was again dismantled, then transported by rail to St. Louis for the 1904 World's Fair and finally destroyed there by controlled demolition using dynamite on May 11, 1906.[4]

References

External images
Axle of the 1893 Chicago Ferris Wheel
Preceded by
World's first
World's tallest Ferris wheel
1893-1894
Succeeded by
Great Wheel

Simple English

File:Riesenrad
Willenborgs Oktoberfest ferri wheel

Ferris wheels (sometimes called big wheels in the United Kingdom) are large, round, revolving structures with gondolas where people sit. They are popular at amusement parks and fairs. They are named after George Ferris, who made the first modern wheel for the World's Columbian Exposition in 1893.








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