Friday, December 18, 2015

1893 Columbian Exposition Ferris Wheel

It was more than 100' taller than the 150' tall wheel built in 1995 at Navy Pier. It was 68' taller than the second one, the "Centennial Wheel," built at Navy Pier. [ChicagoTribune]

John Nowakowski -> Forgotten Chicago
John's comment:
View through the Ferris Wheel at the 1893 Columbian Exposition, with inner view of spokes, axle, and corresponding cars. The wheel rotated on a 71-ton, 45.5-foot axle comprising what was at that time the world's largest hollow forging. Each car on the wheel, was comparable to the size of a trolly streetcar.

HydeParkHistory

HydeParkHistory
On March 18, 1893, the 89,320 pound axle, forged in Pittsburgh by the Bethlehem Iron Company, arrived in Chicago… the largest hollow forging in the world at the time, it was 45 1/2 feet long, 33 inches in diameter… Four and one-half feet from each end it carried two 16 foot diameter cast-iron spiders weighing 53,031 pounds.
Cool Old Pic of the Day Club posted
Ferris Wheel from the Chicago World's Fair, 1893. Each of the 36 cars held 60 people for a total of 2160 passengers.
For the World’s Fair of 1893, Chicago planners desperately wanted something to compete with the Eiffel Tower. The Eiffel Tower had been standing for four years, having been completed for the Parisian World’s Fair. The city of Chicago entertained many submissions, but most of the submitted sketches looked like Eiffel Tower knock-offs and were not very innovative. Along came George Washington Ferris with his submission of a circular construction that moved and was taller than the recently installed Statue of Liberty. The committee originally turned him down as the entire “Ferris Wheel” contraption was deemed deadly and wildly impractical.
Mark Kuehn My great grandfather Louis Chadim, helped build this Ferris Wheel. He worked for Fairbanks-Morse. They built the steam engines that propelled the wheel.Kirstin Kay Courtney Grimes The steam engines were salvaged, and sent east to Pennsylvania, I believe, before it was taken down.
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