Who Invented the Ferris Wheel?

Called by other names such as the big wheel or observation wheel, Ferris wheels are usually found in theme parks and amusement centers. Within this type of non-building structure, people can sit comfortably in passenger gondolas, which are attached to the rim and are set in a huge upright wheel. Today, you can find some of the biggest structures in countries like Japan, the United States as well as Taiwan. Aside from these wonderful details, there are so many other important things to learn about it including who invented the Ferris wheel.

The Invention of the Ferris Wheel
Who invented the Ferris wheel? The American inventor named George Washington Gale Ferris Jr. designed and invented the Ferris wheel in 1893. It was made for the World’s Columbian Exposition that was held in the City of Chicago in Illinois. It was then called the Chicago Wheel, which he did as part of an effort to build something quite impressive just like the Eiffel Tower in France. After this huge event, every ride of similar nature was referred to as Ferris wheel.

Additional Facts and Other Interesting Details
The Ferris wheel was the centerpiece at the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition. It used two steam engines, which stood at the height of 260 feet or 80 meters. After that, it became part of the Saint Louis 1904 World’s Fair. Throughout history, the world has seen different kinds of massive Ferris wheels.

After the Chicago Wheel, the Great Wheel was created in 1895 as part of the Empire of India Exhibition that was held Earls Court in London, England. In 1900, the Exposition Universelle was showcased at the Grande Roue de Paris in France, which lasted only until 1937. In 1997, the Tempozan Harbor Village Ferris Wheel opened in Osaka, Japan, which had a height of 369 feet or 112.5 meters. In 1999, a much taller structure was built in the form of the Daikanransha in Odaiba, Japan. This Ferris wheel is bigger at the height of 380 feet or 115 meters.

In 2000, then-British Prime Minister Tony Blair opened the London Eye in England. The structure was very impressive, which remains as the highest in the entire Western Hemisphere. Years after that, the Star of Nanchang opened in 2006 in Jiangxi Province, China. It stands 520 feet or 160 meters tall. In 2008, the tallest Ferris wheel was established in Singapore. It was called the Singapore Flyer, with a height of 541 feet or 165 meters. Aside from these, there are other massive structures of the same nature available such as the Eurowheel in Italy, the Sky Dream Fukuoka in Japan and the Riesenrad Vienna in Austria.