Ferris Wheel Day marks the 14 February 1859 birth of George Washington Gale Ferris, American engineer and inventor, at Galesburg, Illinois. Among his many accomplishments as a civil engineer, Ferris is best remembered as the inventor of the Ferris wheel, which he developed for the World’s Columbian Exposition at Chicago, Illinois, in 1893. Built on the Midway Plaisance, the 250-foot-diameter Ferris wheel (with 36 coaches, each capable of carrying 40 passengers) proved one of the greatest attractions of the fair. It was America’s answer to the Eiffel Tower of the Paris International Exposition of 1889. Ferris died at Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, on 22 November 1896.
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