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. . 2013.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Ferris wheel — Fer ris wheel An amusement device consisting of a giant power driven vertically oriented steel wheel, revolvable on its horizontal stationary axle, and carrying a number of balanced passenger cars or open seats around its rim; the seats are… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Ferris wheel — ► NOUN ▪ a fairground ride consisting of a giant vertical revolving wheel with passenger cars suspended on its outer edge. ORIGIN named after the American engineer George W. G. Ferris (1859 96) …   English terms dictionary

  • Ferris wheel — ☆ Ferris wheel [fer′is ] n. [after George W. G. Ferris (1859 96), U.S. engineer who constructed the first one for the World s Fair in Chicago in 1893] a large, upright wheel revolving on a fixed axle and having seats hanging between two parallel… …   English World dictionary

  • Ferris wheel — 1893, American English, from U.S. engineer George W.G. Ferris (1859 1896), who designed it for the World s Columbian Exposition, held in Chicago, 1893. It was 250 feet tall and meant to rival the Eiffel Tower, from the 1889 Paris Exposition …   Etymology dictionary

  • Ferris wheel — For other uses, see Ferris wheel (disambiguation). A Ferris wheel (also known as an observation wheel or big wheel) is a nonbuilding structure consisting of a rotating upright wheel with passenger cars (sometimes referred to as gondolas or… …   Wikipedia

  • Ferris Wheel — This article is about the original 1893 Chicago Ferris Wheel. For the generic term, see Ferris wheel. For other uses, see Ferris wheel (disambiguation). The original Ferris Wheel, sometimes also referred to as the Chicago Wheel,[1][2][3] was the… …   Wikipedia

  • ferris wheel — [[t]fe̱rɪs wiːl[/t]] ferris wheels N COUNT A ferris wheel is a very large upright wheel with carriages around the edge of it which people can ride in. Ferris wheels are often found at theme parks or funfairs. [AM] (in BRIT, use big wheel) …   English dictionary

  • ferris wheel — UK [ˈferɪs ˌwiːl] / US [ˈferɪs ˌwɪl] noun [countable] Word forms ferris wheel : singular ferris wheel plural ferris wheels mainly American a big wheel at a fairground …   English dictionary

  • Ferris wheel — /ˈfɛrəs wil/ (say feruhs weel) noun an amusement device at fairs, etc., consisting of a large upright wheel rotating about a fixed axis with seats suspended at intervals around its rim. Also, ferris wheel. {named after GWG Ferris, 1859–96, US… …   Australian English dictionary

  • Ferris wheel — Fer|ris wheel [ˈferıs ˌwi:l] n especially AmE [Date: 1800 1900; Origin: G. W. G. Ferris (1859 96), US engineer] a very large upright wheel with seats on it for people to ride on in an ↑amusement park British Equivalent: big wheel …   Dictionary of contemporary English

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