chicago ferris wheel

The October Issue: Build it so the world might come

“I have on hand a great project for the World’s Fair in Chicago,” wrote a young man named George Washington Gale Ferris Jr. “I am going to build a vertically revolving wheel 250 foot in dia [diameter].” The year was 1892, and the proposed creation was what is now, of course, known as the Ferris Wheel. It seemed a task of overwhelming impossibility, with blueprints depicting a mammoth central axle and arms that could stand the weight of railway-car-sized gondolas, as well as the bracing winds of Chicago. And it was not the only problem paining Chicago’s World Fair....

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