#On This Day – The Wheel

Thursday, June 21st, 2018

#OnThisDay

21 June 1893 the first Ferris Wheel opened at the Chicago World Fair. 1893 marked the four hundred year anniversary of Columbus’ landing in the New World. In celebration of this event the 51st US Congress of 1890 declared that a great fair should be held in Chicago. The wheel was designed and built by George W. Ferris, originally a bridge builder from Pennsylvania. No-one had ever built such a structure, the axle alone 45 foot long and weighed almost 90,000 pounds, the pylons used to support the axle were 140 feet high. The wheel supported 36 wooden cars and used three thousand light bulbs! But what links the Ferris Wheel to old English games of chance, the Statue of Liberty, and the fifteenth century Italian engineer Agostino Ramelli?

To find out more listen to our episode on the wheel!

Or why not check out our magazine post on the book wheel!

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