Showing posts with label inventor. Show all posts
Showing posts with label inventor. Show all posts

February 14, 2013

Happy Ferris Wheel Day!

Library Binding ISBN: 978-0-7660-2845-6
Grades 5–6

Library Binding ISBN: 978-0-7660-3964-3
Paperback ISBN: 978-1-4644-0132-9
Grades 1–2

Chicago was chosen to have the 1893 World's Fair. The fair's planners wanted to impress the crowds that were sure to attend. Just four years earlier, the 984-foot Eiffel Tower had been built for the Paris World's Fair. The tower was like an iron bridge to the sky. American civil engineers competed in a nationwide contest for an idea to outdo the French Eiffel Tower.

The boldest ideas were for taller towers. Then one engineer had a different idea. George Ferris drew plans for a 250-foot wheel that could carry over two thousand people high into the sky.Some people think George Ferris got his idea for the Ferris Wheel by watching a water wheel, like this one, near his home.

Mr. Ferris gave the World's Fair directors his drawings for his giant wheel. But the directors decided against a wheel for the fair. They were sure it could not survive Lake Michigan's strong winds.

In November 1892, the World's Fair directors still had nothing to beat the Eiffel Tower. They finally agreed to let George build his wheel but with his own money. George found some wealthy investors who said the 250-foot wheel should be called the Ferris Wheel.

When the fair finally opened on May 1, 1893, George's wheel was not finished. But on June 10, the crew began hanging the thirty-six carriages. Finally, at three o'clock on June 21, 1893, George's Ferris wheel opened for business. A ride on the Ferris Wheel cost fifty cents, which was also how much it cost to get into the fair.

Because George dared to dream big and follow his dream, today millions of people all over the world have a great time riding Ferris wheels.

Today, the London Eye in London, England is one of the world's most famous Ferris wheels. About ten thousand people ride it each day. Currently, the world's largest observation wheel is the Singapore Flyer.

But world's largest Ferris wheel may be coming to New York City's Staten Island waterfront with construction to possibly begin in early 2014.  The proposed wheel would stand at approximately 625 feet.

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