Chicago Inventions

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Chicago World’s Fair: Invention Exposition

The Ferris Wheel

Fairs and amusement parks across the country and around the world have taken advantage of the Ferris Wheel.  The Chicago World's Fair was created to be greater than the fair that Paris held in 1889.  The people in charge of the Fair had a goal to make something more magnificent and beautiful than the Eiffel Tower. The designers of the Fair turned down idea after idea. 

Engineer George W. Ferris submitted several different designs to the designers (25).  After turning down Ferris three times, the designers finally accepted his idea of a great wheel. Ferris' first three plans were rejected because they believed such an elaborate and complex wheel would create many dangers, not only for the people riding it, but also for the builders (26).

The original Ferris Wheel was supported by two 140 foot steel towers and a 45 foot axle (27). The wheel had a diameter of 250 feet, was 264 feet tall, and had 36 wooden carts (28). 

During its first two months, the Fair was not doing as well as anticipated.  It was not until the Ferris Wheel opened that the Fair began to make more money.  It cost fifty cents to ride the Ferris Wheel and people were more than willing to pay because the ride gave a magnificent view of the White City (29).

 

Now Ferris Wheels can be seen at many amusement parks and fairs.  Here are some as they are seen today:Giant WheelSkydiverSky WheelEl Salitre(30)

Click here to find out more about the man who created the most popular amusement park

and fair ride - Mr. George Ferris! 

The Inventor of the Ferris Wheel

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