Exactly 2,160 people could ride on the first Ferris wheel, which was debuted in 1893 at the Chicago World’s Fair, also known as the Columbian Exposition. The amusement ride contained 36 cars that could seat 60 passengers each. It was 264 feet (80 m) high and could hold a weight of over 2.3 million pounds (1,191 tons). Engineer George Washington Gale Ferris designed the wheel and the construction was completed in just over four months due to the Chicago World’s Fair committee not approving of it at first, citing the idea as ridiculous and impossible. The first Ferris wheel operated for six months at the 1893 Exposition and earned over $725,000 US Dollars (USD).
More about the Ferris wheel:
- The Ferris wheel was created as a way for the US to compete with the Paris World’s Fair in 1889, during which the Eiffel Tower had been debuted.
- It took nearly three months to dismantle the first Ferris wheel and move it to a new site.
- The world’s tallest Ferris wheel, as of 2014, is located in Las Vegas, Nevada and stands approximately 550 feet (167 m) high.