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The man who invented the wheel

The organizers received a lot of responses, but almost all of them were unoriginal — basically it was proposed to build a higher tower. Even Alexander Gustave Eiffel sent his project, which again was limited to the construction higher than the Parisian tower (Burnham received several dozen letters of protest from leading American engineers, perturbed by such unpatriotic approach).

Young engineer George Ferris came up with the idea. Considering various projects, one day during a dinner with colleagues he remembered the wheels of water mills, which saw growing on the Carson river in Nevada. By the end of dinner he was drawing on napkins sketches a giant Ferris wheel with cabins for visitors. Most of his colleagues found the project to be absolutely impossible, but Ferris was persistent. He spent $25 000 of their own funds (at that time a lot of money) for the creation of drawings and the development of precise specifications of structures, and finally, on November 29, 1892, the administration of the exhibition agreed. However, with one condition — unlike the Eiffel tower, whose construction was partially financed by the French government, and Ferris had to find the money to build the wheels (and he succeeded). In addition, the construction was given only 22 weeks (and during golodnostepskiy winter).  Continue reading

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