Ferris Wheel ,designed and constructed by engineer George
Washington Gale Ferris, Jr.
At a height of 80.4 metres
(264 ft) it was the largest attraction at the Columbian Exposition.
The wheel rotated on a 71-ton, 45.5-foot axle, at that at time
the world's largest hollow forging, manufactured in Pittsburgh
by the Bethlehem Iron Company and weighing 89,320 pounds.
There were 36 cars, each
fitted with 40 revolving chairs and able to accommodate up to
60 people, giving a total capacity of 2,160. The wheel carried
some 38,000 passengers dailyand took 20 minutes to complete
two revolutions, the first including six stops to allow passengers
to exit and enter and the second a nine-minute non-stop rotation.
Each rider paid 50 cents.
Ferris, a visionary builder,
was dedicated to the to the monumental structural ideals that
marked the early 20th century and included mansions and bridges.