- Ferris Wheel
- The architectural planner for the World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago in 1893 was Daniel H. Burnham. He wanted the exposition to have a native focal point so attractive that it would surpass the Eiffel Tower, which had been built for the 1889 Paris Universal Exposition. Many architects submitted plans, but the one accepted came from a civil engineer named George Washington Gale Ferris (1859-1896), who was born in Galesburg, Illinois, and who became a bridge and railroad engineer. His design, and what he ultimately constructed, consisted of a revolving wheel structure, 650 feet in diameter and supported by towers that stood 140 feet high. Between the rims were 36 cars, each capable of carrying 40 riders. Quite naturally, this wheel came to be called a Ferris wheel. It was the wonder of the exposition and was such a delight that it was widely copied and used in many carnivals and amusement parks around the country. It is still a wheel of fun.The Ferris wheel, which had attracted the delighted attention of so many people and gave such pleasure to families at the World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago, was sold and shipped to St. Louis for the 1904 exhibition, after which the structure, which had been built at a cost of $385,000, was sold as scrap. It fetched less than $2,000.
Dictionary of eponyms. Morton S. Freeman. 2013.