How Did George Ferris Impact The World

Better Essays
The Ferris wheel is “an amusement device consisting of a large upright power-driven wheel carrying seats that remain horizontal around its rim.” George Ferris, a civil engineer from Pennsylvania, created this ride that is popular among people of all ages. George influenced the way engineers build and create structures today. His invention is still used throughout the world regularly. George made a big impact on our world and our innovators.
George was born on February 14, 1859, in Galesburg, Illinois. His grandfather, Silvanus Ferris, and Reverend George W Gale founded the town of Galesburg, Illinois. George was named after his father, George Washington Gale Ferris. His mother, Martha Edgerton Hyde Ferris, and father were both farmers.
…show more content…
Daniel H. Burnham, the Chief of Construction for the World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago, challenged civil engineers of the United States to create a build that could compete with the Eiffel Tower. The creation had to be original, daring and unique. Ferris’s idea was a “revolving observation wheel.” The sketch was two large parallel circles connected with struts that revolved around a steel axis. George was sure of his idea and was ready to present it the following day. The committee found his structure “unrealistic and superficial” due to its size and purpose. He talked with fellow engineers and convinced them to help on the build. George also found investors to pay $400,000 for the construction of the wheel. His idea was approved on November 29, 1892. George struggled to get the idea approved but the real constructing and financing of the structure was even harder. Financing the project was tough because of the depression. George took control to secure the concession. His partner, William F. Grnau, was in charge of design detail and construction responsibility. They had to contact several companies in East and Midwest for the production of parts needed to build the wheel. After the foundation was built, the two parallel towers were next. Built out of vertical posts and horizontal braces, the 45-ton axle was fastened to the two towers with spokes, beams, and iron rods. It was supported with…show more content…
A trip consisted of one revolution. Six stops were made for loading and then one, nine minute, nonstop revolution. The fare for the trip was 50 cents. Ferris and his wife were the first to ride it along with the city’s mayor and a 40 piece band. The wheel was a huge success. It earned $726, 805 and $395,000 in profit. Several couples were married at the top of the wheel because of its beauty and fame. 3000 light bulbs were on the wheel to create a beautiful sight as they blinked. The wheel made 10,000 revolutions and carried 1.5 million passengers. The wheels last days were nearing. It ran smoothly until November 6, 1893, when the exposition ended. $400,000 in new debt and investors sold the structure for $1,800. It was reassembled in ST Louisiana for the Louisiana Purchase Exposition. Three million new riders enjoyed the wheel. The exposition soon closed because of complaints that the wheel was an eyesore. After the exposition, the wheel was moved to Chicago. Residents there petitioned to have the wheel removed. They stated that it was useless and undesirable. On May 11, 1906, 200 lbs. of dynamite reduced the wheel to a pile of scrap metal.
Ferris didn’t witness the destruction of the wheel. He died on November 11, 1896. His wife had recently left him and had returned to Canton, Ohio. George died of typhoid fever; Suicide could have also been an
Get Access