Did you know? The first Ferris wheel was created in IllinoisThat’s right. That fun, slow circling, classic amusement park ride was invented by George Washington Ferris, who was a civil engineer from Illinois.

Ferris built the wheel for the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair. His invention was and is still is the largest wheel ever built standing at 25 stories high and weighing 1,300 tons! With its size, it could hold large amounts of people, too; more than 1,400 to be exact.

Passengers could see for 50 miles from the very top. It took 20 minutes for the wheel to make a complete turn, which could be good or bad for the daring people who rode on it.

Don’t try looking for the Ferris wheel, because when the Chicago World’s Fair was over the wheel was relocated to the St. Louis exposition and then was dismantled because of its expensive operation.

Pieces of the Ferris wheel were used to build the USS Illinois during World War I.

Learn more:
A more detailed history off the Ferris Wheel
Learn more about Chicago’s World’s Fair