Fact File about the Invention of the Ferris Wheel: Invention *** Date of Invention: 1893 *** Name of Inventor:
George Washington Gale Ferris *** Lifespan of Inventor: 1859 - 1896 *** Nationality of Inventor: American *** Historical Period: Second US Industrial Revolution / Victorian (1850 - 1914) *** Category: Recreation *** Country of Origin: America *** Facts about the Inventor, George Ferris
and his invention ***
Fact 1: Who invented the Ferris Wheel? The Ferris Wheel was invented by
George Ferris in 1893 during the Second US Industrial Revolution era of
inventions (1850 - 1914).
Fact 2: Who invented the Ferris Wheel? Prior to the invention of the
Ferris Wheel in 1893, the Eiffel Tower had been constructed to give the visitors
to the Paris Exposition of 1878 a fantastic view of the city - but nothing
similar had been invented to create a similar stir at the 1893 Chicago World's
Fair aka the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition.
Fact 3: Who invented the Ferris Wheel? The American engineer George
Ferris decided to build a giant, revolving observation wheel to rival the Eiffel
Tower and provide visitors with a magnificent view of the fair and the city of
Fact 4: Who invented the Ferris Wheel? The inventor of the Ferris Wheel,
George Washington Gale Ferris, Jr., was born on February 14, 1859 in Galesburg, Illinois, United States and died on November 22, 1896.
Fact 5: Who invented the Ferris Wheel? The early years of George Ferris were spent in Galesburg, Illinois, United States where he was raised by his family. George Ferris was educated at California Military Academy and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York
where he earned a degree in Civil Engineering in 1881.
Fact 6: Who invented the Ferris Wheel? Following his education he worked
on various civil engineering projects involving the construction of railroads
and bridges. George Ferris proved to be successful in his chosen profession and
went on to found his own company by the name of G.W.G. Ferris & Co. in
Fact 7: Who invented the Ferris Wheel? A great fair was to be held in
Chicago to celebrate the 400th anniversary of Christopher Columbus landing in
the New World. It was called the World's Columbian Exposition but it would
become known as the 1893 Chicago World's Fair.
Fact 8: Who invented the Ferris Wheel? The 1893 Chicago World's Fair
included educational exhibits, new inventions and was designed to entertain
millions of visitors. The great event was to be located on the site of Jackson
Park and the Midway Plaisance in Chicago which covered nearly 700 acres of
beautiful parks and grounds providing exhibitions of new inventions, music,
food, and various forms of entertainment. The entrance fee to the exhibition was
set at 25 cents per person.
Fact 9: Who invented the Ferris Wheel? Prior to the great event the
Architect and Construction Chief of the upcoming Chicago World's Fair, Daniel H.
Burnham, gave a speech to a group of engineers in 1890 who were interested in
the Exposition, hoping to inspire enthusiasm for this colossal American project.
Fact 10: Who invented the Ferris Wheel? George Ferris was amongst the
eminent engineers who listened to Daniel H. Burnham's motivating words. Inspired
by the speech, and the construction of the Eiffel Tower at the Paris Exposition
of 1878, George Ferris hit on the idea of creating a massive revolving
observation wheel to rival the success of the Eiffel Tower.
Fact 11: Who invented the Ferris Wheel? George Ferris plan was to create
a steel, revolving observation wheel that was 264 feet tall (80.4 meters), which
was equivalent to a 26 storey building.
Fact 12: Who invented the Ferris Wheel? George Ferris designed his "Big
Wheel" to carry 60 passengers
in each of the 36 cars (referred to as gondolas)
that were 13 feet wide, 27 feet long and 9 feet high that swung around the
wheel's rim. It was 825 feet in circumference and 264 feet tall.
Fact 13: Who invented the Ferris Wheel? The equipment used to operate the
massive machine was powered by two of 1,000-horsepower steam engines and the
structure was designed to withstand 150 mile-an-hour tornado force winds
Fact 14: Who invented the Ferris Wheel? Other inventors and engineers
scoffed at the idea believing the gigantic revolving observation wheel could
never be built or operated.
Fact 15: Who invented the Ferris Wheel? George Ferris confounded all of
his critics and his invention was chosen to rival the Eiffel Tower on December
16, 1892. George Ferris built his observation attraction for $300,000 which
included $25,000 of his own money on safety studies. Large plate glass windows
were fitted on the cars and the doors at each end of the car were provided with
Fact 16: Who invented the Ferris Wheel? The invention of the Big Chicago Wheel
was a massive undertaking necessitating the use of more than 100,000 parts to
create the entire steel structure that weighed 4,100 tons.
Fact 17: Who invented the Ferris Wheel? The Chicago World's Fair was
opened on May 1, 1893 by President Grover Cleveland and closed on October 30,
1893 (Columbus Day). There were some delays in completing the amazing Big Wheel
which was eventually opened on June 21, 1893, seven weeks behind schedule.
Fact 18: Who invented the Ferris Wheel? The Ferris Wheel was a huge
success and people flocked to ride on the great attraction for the price of 50
cents a ride. Each ride lasted for about ten minutes, making two complete
circuits, and gave visitors a breathtaking view of Chicago World's Fair.
Fact 19: Who invented the Ferris Wheel? The Ferris Wheel became the most
popular attraction at the Chicago World's Fair and made over $750,000 during the
19 weeks it was in operation
Fact 20: Who invented the Ferris Wheel? After the Chicago World's Fair the Ferris Wheel
was successfully moved to Chicago’s North Side where it remained for 10 years
before it was exhibited again at the 1904 World’s Fair in St. Louis, Missouri.
Fact 21: Who invented the Ferris Wheel? George Ferris tragically died of
Typhoid fever at Mercy Hospital, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on November 22, 1896 -
he was just 37 years old. His beloved Ferris Wheel was eventually dynamited on
May 11, 1906.