A Visit to the world Columbian Exposition 1892


. . .The Ferris Wheel is one of the wonders of the fair, and is a worthy rival of the Eiffel Tower of Paris. Its inventor is Mr. G. W. G. Ferris, a young engineer of Pittsburg. The structure resembles a huge bicycle wheel hung between two steel towers, 137 feet in height. The axle is thirty-three inches in diameter, forty-five feet long, and weighs fifty-six tons, and cost $35,000. Bars of steel hold together the two wheels, which are twenty-eight and a half feet apart. From trunnion-pins are suspended thirty-six passenger cars, which, when loaded, accommodate 2,160 passengers. Total weight of the great wheel is 4,300 tons. Two 1000 horse-power engines give motion to the wheel. At night three thousand incandescent lights of various colours add a beautiful effect. Fifty cents admits you to a seat, and you are hurled 264 feet into the air for an outlook over Chicago, the Exposition grounds, and Lake Michigan. Visitors were given two turns of the wheel, doubtless on the principle that one good turn deserves another. The cost of this gigantic novelty was $368,000. The Ferris Wheel while at the fair gave great pleasure, and proved a financial success. Not only did it pay all the cost, but for a time handsome profits.