Beyond the Textbooks

The Ferris Wheel

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Ferris Wheel, 1893. Photo Credit: Hyde Park Historical Society

The original Ferris wheel was first displayed at the 1893 World’s Fair in Chicago. Its inventor was George Washington Gale Ferris Jr., a Pittsburgh-based bridge-builder.

– It stood 265 feet tall.

– One revolution took 10 minutes.

– Each of the 36 seating compartments could carry 60 people for a maximum total of 2,160 passengers.

– The wheel weighed just over 2 million pounds.

– On November 22, 1893, three years after his invention debuted, Ferris Jr. died of tuberculosis.

More photos of the Ferris Wheel at Chicago’s 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition here.

Hyde Park Historical Society

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