When was the first ferris wheel built?

Ferris Wheel

The first ferris wheel was built for the world fair held in Chicago, IL, in 1893.  Perhaps you have been darling enough to whirl into the sky on a giant Ferris wheel.  A Ferris wheel is a large, upright, revolving wheel with seats hanging from the rim.  Almost every fair, carnival and amusement park has a Ferris wheel.   The first Ferris wheel was built in 1893 for the World’s Columbian exposition in Chicago, III.

One of the largest ever erected, the giant wheel was made of  36 cars, and could carry more than 1,000 passengers.  The highest point of the wheel was over 250 feet above the ground.  It was named after its inventor, George W.G. Ferris.  Ferris wheels are much smaller today.

Today’s Ferris wheel may stand about 40 feet high, but they seem sky-high to youthful riders.  A gasoline-powered engine turns the big wheel on its steel frame.  To move a Ferris wheel to a new location, it must be taken apart and re-assembled, much like a giant construction set, at the next fairground.


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