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). 

Most of the parts were manufactured in Detroit and 150 cars delivered in Chicago. A sketch on a napkin turned into a wheel with a diameter of 80 m sitting on axis with a length of nearly 14 m and a diameter of 2 m, the largest forging ever produced in the United States. Rising 45 m above the ground support was left for 10 m deep in a concrete Foundation, 36 cabins can accommodate 60 visitors each. The mass of the entire structure was 4100 tonnes. The attraction, which cost $250 000, was opened to the public seven weeks later than planned, on 21 June 1893. A 10-minute ride cost 50 cents, and in 19 weeks show on the wheel swept nearly 1.5 million visitors that have fetched almost $730,000 in profit. The Ferris wheel brought fame but not happy. The administration has not paid to the inventor the provisions of a share of the profits. Attempts to sell the idea of attraction to other entertainment parks did not succeed. As a result, Ferris depressed and 21 November 1896 at the age of 37 years in solitude and died in Pittsburgh hospital. The idea experienced inventor — now Ferris wheels have become an indispensable attribute of any of the city amusement Park.

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