Wheels have many uses, and a few useless jobs. One of the less important tasks is to take you up in the air. Patrick Meehan, an engineering student, published an article in 1964 about the first ferris wheel, and I linked to it at the end of the paragraph. Chicago began preparing for the 400th anniversary celebration of Columbus’ discovery of the New World in 1890. They wanted a tall structure for the event that would rival the Eiffel Tower in Paris.
George Ferris drew his model during a dinner, and the first Ferris Wheel was constructed from that sketch. He was known as the man “with wheels in his head.” The structure, completed in 1893, took 20 minutes to complete its first revolution without the cars. Eventually, this engineering feat of the century, the ferris wheel had 21 cars. Each weighed 26,000 pounds and held up to 60 people. Three thousand of Edison’s newly invented light bulbs illuminated the famous wheel when it opened. After the Exposition closed, the Ferris Wheel quickly fell into disuse. It was moved twice, once in Chicago and once to St. Louis, before being blasted into bits. For more information on the original Ferris Wheel click here.
There was easily room for 4-6 people in the bright red car Randy and I rode. From our perch on high we looked down at the other two wheels we wanted to ride next. Randy wanted to go on the carousel, and I wanted the wave ride.
However, as he freaked out while looking down, his ticket blew out of the car, never to be seen again. We discussed who would get to ride the ride of their choice the rest of the way down. It was his birthday, but he wanted me to ride. As we exited the car, I asked the attendant what we could do about our lost ticket. She took us to the front of a huge line, and got a replacement picture, so we both had the rides of our choice.
She was a big wheel at the Navy Pier Ferris Wheel Ride! 🙂
For more fun wheel pictures click on Cee’s icon.