The Friday File: Mr. Ferris, What a Wheel!

The Chicago Files

Ferris Wheel Navy Pier

Well it’s Friday, and it’s sunny and lovely here in Chicago.  I started thinking about nice weather, activities outdoors, and the Ferris Wheel.  Literally copying Ripley’s, “Believe it or not” statement, believe it or not, the Ferris Wheel first appeared in Chicago in 1893 at the World’s Columbian Exposition.  Towering over virtually everything else at the exposition, the wheel stood at 264 feet (80.4 meters).

Pittsburgh bridge builder George Ferris invented his wonder wheel much to the delight of people of all ages.  For fifty cents a thrill seeker of the 1890’s would be rotated up in the air via a little tram-like structure.  In total it took twenty minutes for a full ride:  the first eleven minutes to allow passengers on and off, and the next nine fun-filled minutes the wheel would go ’round and ’round!

The photo above is one I took at Navy Pier; this modern version…

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