As we all know from Mystery Train Island, the Ferris Wheel was invented for the Chicago World’s Fair of 1893 in an attempt to rival the amazing new tower that the French engineer Gustave Eiffel had built for the World’s Fair in Paris in 1889. The fair’s actual name was: The World’s Columbian Exposition which was a way of commemorating the 400th anniversary of Columbus’ crossing of the Atlantic in 1492. Did you know that the fair’s Ferris wheel was 264 feet high and had 36 cars that could each hold 60 people? That’s 2,160 people! Remember, nothing like this had ever been built before and no one really knew if the structure would hold up. Would you go up 264 feet in an invention that hadn’t ever been tested with that many people? Me neither! But a lot of people paid 50 cents for the opportunity to ride around and around hundreds of feet over the city.
Would you have ridden the first Ferris wheel at the Chicago Fair?