Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA - 1893 - The Ferris Wheel was invented by the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania bridge-builder George Washington Gale Ferris Jr. (1859-1896) . The first Ferris wheel was opened on June 21, 1893 at the Chicago World's Fair.
This Ferris wheel was 250 feet tall (the diameter of the wheel) - this is about the height of a 25 story building! It had 36 wooden cars that could each seat 40 people, and hold another 20 standing people plus a conductor. Each car was 27 feet long, 13 feet wide, and 9 feet tall. A total of 2000 people could ride the wheel at one time. The wheel was powered by two 1,000 horsepower engines and weighed over 4,000 tons. It cost 50 cents per ride. This same Ferris wheel was later used at the St. Louis exposition in 1904, but was scrapped in 1906.
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