History of National Ferris Wheel Day - FactzPedia

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History of National Ferris Wheel Day

 

History of National Ferris Wheel Day


The very first wheel of this kind was designed and built by George Washington Gale Ferris Jr. He designed it especially for the World’s Colombian Exposition in 1893, after graduating with a degree in civil engineering.

George Ferris was interested in designing and building bridges and eventually established his own company.

But in 1891, his attention turned to the large exposition in Chicago, Illinois, whose directors had challenged engineers to create something unique.

They wanted something that would rival the famous Eiffel Tower, which had attracted global attention at the Paris International Exposition just four years earlier.

Planners of the Chicago exposition were intrigued by Ferris’ design, but at first, they didn’t believe a giant rotating wheel would be safe.

However, George Ferris ultimately convinced them that it would work and managed to secure investments of $400,000 to construct the first Ferris wheel.

The colossal wheel had 36 cars and could hold more than 2,000 people in total. During the fair, 38,000 people took a ride on the Ferris wheel, where they could enjoy views from 26 stories high.

Just three years later, George Ferris died in 1896 at the age of 37. But his legacy lived on, and the original Ferris wheel continued to turn for another decade until it was shut down and demolished in 1906.

To this day, the Ferris wheel is a recognizable feature at any fairground. All over the world, it remains a popular attraction at large tourist destinations and local community fairs alike.

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