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Who Invented The Ferris Wheel?

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Ferris wheels are also known by other names including big wheels or observation wheels. Usually, ferris wheels are found in amusement parks and theme parks. Ferris wheels are a sort of non-building structures which feature passenger gondolas attached to the rim of a giant, erected wheel fixed to a rotator. People can sit in these gondolas and are moved around in different fashions according to the specific design employed in the given ferris wheel. These days, some of the biggest ferris wheel structures are found in countries like Japan, United States and Taiwan.

George Washington Gale Ferris, Jr.George Washington Gale Ferris.

The first ferris wheel

Ferris wheel was invented by George Washington Gale Ferris Jr., an American in the year 1893. The first ferris wheel structure made by him was launched in the World’s Columbian Exposition held in the city of Chicago, Illinois. During its launch, it was called by the name Chicago wheel. The first ferris wheel came out as part of an effort to make an impressive structure resembling the Eiffel Tower in France. After this major event, any ride resembling it came to be called as ferris wheel.

The original Ferris WheelThe original Ferris Wheel at the 1893 World Columbian Exposition in Chicago. © New York Times.

The first design

The Ferris wheel introduced for the first time in the World’s Columbian Exposition was the central attraction of the whole event. The first ferris wheel featured two steam engines. The height of the structure was about 260 feet or 80 meters. Following this event, the ferris wheel was made part of the Saint Louis World’s Fair organized in the year 1904. Over its long history, the world has come across a large number of huge ferris wheels.

It keeps getting bigger every time

The most remarkable ferris wheel that was created after the Chicago wheel was the Great wheel made in the year 1895 for the event of the Empire of India Exhibition held in Earls Court in London, England. Some of the other remarkable kind of ferris wheel made include the Exposition Universelle (1900) launched at the Grande Roue de Paris in France; the Tempozan Harbor Village Ferris Wheel (1997) inaugurated in Osaka, Japan which is 369 feet or 112.5 meters tall; the Daikanransha ferris wheel (1999) launched in Odaiba, Japan that was of 380 feet or 115 meters tall. The highest ferris wheel of the western hemisphere was launched by the former British Prime Minister Tony Blair in 2000 at London. This was called the London Eye. China made a 520 feet (160 meters) tall ferris wheel called the Star of Nanchang in 2006. The biggest ferris wheel made so far is at Singapore measuring about 540 feet (165 meters), called the Singapore Flyer.

Other amusement park rides: The roller coaster invention.