The Friday File: Mr. Ferris, What a Wheel!

Ferris Wheel Navy Pier

Well it’s Friday, and it’s sunny and lovely here in Chicago.  I started thinking about nice weather, activities outdoors, and the Ferris Wheel.  Literally copying Ripley’s, “Believe it or not” statement, believe it or not, the Ferris Wheel first appeared in Chicago in 1893 at the World’s Columbian Exposition.  Towering over virtually everything else at the exposition, the wheel stood at 264 feet (80.4 meters).

Pittsburgh bridge builder George Ferris invented his wonder wheel much to the delight of people of all ages.  For fifty cents a thrill seeker of the 1890’s would be rotated up in the air via a little tram-like structure.  In total it took twenty minutes for a full ride:  the first eleven minutes to allow passengers on and off, and the next nine fun-filled minutes the wheel would go ’round and ’round!

The photo above is one I took at Navy Pier; this modern version of the original Ferris Wheel appears to be as popular today as it was back in George Ferris’s day.  This got me thinking about the names we call everyday objects.  Often labelled after their inventor’s name, can you imagine if the clever engineer of this wheel was a, “Mr. Chancy”.  Hi, I’m George Chancy and I invented the Chancy Wheel!  It’s a structure that will hoist you up into the air at 264 feet! Safe? Why, of course it is, or my name isn’t………..

I think I feel better that George was a Ferris and not a Chancy, don’t you?

  32 comments for “The Friday File: Mr. Ferris, What a Wheel!

  1. May 22, 2015 at 9:18 am

    Wishing Vancouver had one of these, Like the Singapore and London Eye it would be neat 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • May 22, 2015 at 9:19 am

      I figured this would be your kind of fun, Andy! You like heights and large lamps! *clink* Oh my, the eye! I would NEVER have the nerve to get on that thing. I think I might be a big chicken!! 😉 Cher xo

      Liked by 1 person

  2. May 22, 2015 at 10:42 am

    I have another fun fact about the original Ferris wheel. Each car had a security guard because people were not used to those kinds of heights. They would have panic attacks and whatnot. This is what our tour guide at the Chicago History Museum told us.

    Liked by 1 person

    • May 22, 2015 at 10:47 am

      Now how cool is that!! Thank you so much for mentioning this. I have never heard about it, and I’m so glad you noted it for us! Oh yes, it must have been a complete and utter shock to many people, I’m sure! Cher xo

      Liked by 1 person

      • May 22, 2015 at 4:48 pm

        It was. I highly recommend doing the tour at the History Museum. You learn a lot about Our Fair City.

        Liked by 1 person

      • May 22, 2015 at 5:12 pm

        Well thank you kindly for that excellent advice! I shall most definitely do that. I have been to the History Museum several times but never taken a tour! Cher xo

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Amy
    May 22, 2015 at 10:45 am

    Wow, 264 feet, 20 min. for the full ride! Incredible! Magnificent shot of the wheel. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • May 22, 2015 at 10:48 am

      Amy, you are the sweetest! Thank you for your lovely comments! Cher xo


      • Amy
        May 22, 2015 at 10:52 am

        The gigantic wheel is difficult to capture. This shot is awesome. 🙂 xo

        Liked by 1 person

      • May 22, 2015 at 10:54 am

        Thank you so much for that! I honestly was going to post this last week but I didn’t feel the photo was good enough, as I cut off part of the ‘cars’. Nonetheless, I thought, yes, I’ll post and hope it is okay! xo

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Kev
    May 22, 2015 at 10:47 am

    I love ferris wheels! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • May 22, 2015 at 10:49 am

      Kev, I am such a chicken! *LOL* However, I wish I was not so afraid of heights. Have you been on a lot of Ferris Wheels? And aren’t you glad they aren’t called, “Chancy Wheels”? *grin* Cher xo

      Liked by 1 person

      • Kev
        May 23, 2015 at 9:54 am

        Lol. I did when I was younger and still would now if I had half the chance. I think next time I go to the fair, I will. 🙂
        lol… that was evil. 😀

        Liked by 1 person

      • May 23, 2015 at 9:57 am

        I think you should, Kev! Evil?? Me?? Why, not a chance!! 😉 😉 xo

        Liked by 1 person

      • Kev
        May 23, 2015 at 10:20 am

        lmao! 😀 (not even a tinsy winsy bit?)

        Liked by 1 person

      • May 23, 2015 at 10:22 am

        *biggest grin ever* Look at this innocent face! C’mon, not even a teeny tiny bit! 😉

        Liked by 1 person

      • Kev
        May 24, 2015 at 2:50 pm

        You almost had be convinced there. 😀

        Liked by 1 person

      • May 24, 2015 at 2:56 pm


        Liked by 1 person

      • May 24, 2015 at 10:46 pm

        I meant, “You mean, you’re not?” *grin*


  5. May 22, 2015 at 11:04 am

    Great image

    Liked by 1 person

    • May 22, 2015 at 11:06 am

      Why thank you so much!! Cher xo


  6. May 22, 2015 at 11:28 am

    How amazing! You post the most interesting subject matter! This is also a spectacular photo–love the perspective. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • May 22, 2015 at 11:30 am

      That is so sweet of you to say! Thank you so much! I really appreciate your comments (always, of course)! I honestly try to look for interesting things to write about, but truth be told, they often find me first! *grin* Cher xo

      Liked by 1 person

  7. May 22, 2015 at 12:44 pm

    Reblogged this on georgeforfun.


  8. May 22, 2015 at 1:38 pm

    I was instantly transported onto that wheel from this amazing photo, Cher…lots of memories of going on these hopefully not ‘Chancy’ wheels. 🙂
    Thank you and hope you have a wondrous weekend!
    Big hugs, Donna xo

    Liked by 1 person

    • May 22, 2015 at 1:41 pm

      Ah, thanks Donna! *LOL* Isn’t it funny, when I was a kid I loved them, and as an adult I am terrified of the big ‘chancy’ wheels! *grin* It’s a long weekend here; Memorial Day. I hope you have a terrific weekend, too, my dear! Big hugs, Cher xo

      Liked by 1 person

  9. May 25, 2015 at 10:53 pm

    George Ferris — his middle name was Washington, in case his name didn’t sound strange enough — was a graduate of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, the place I went for grad school. He’s a strong contender for the best-known RPI alumnus. (Television pioneer Alan B DuMont, Apollo program manager David Low, and Brooklyn Bridge builder Washington Roebling are probably his toughest competition.)

    Remarkably, the axle for the original Ferris Wheel was lost. They tried to locate it for its scrap metal value during World War II, and nobody can quite pin down where it’s gone.


    • May 26, 2015 at 10:38 am

      Joseph, thank you so much for these extremely interesting comments! Ah yes, I am sure Mr. Ferris is in strong competition with the other gentlemen you mentioned! Hhhmmm, I wonder where the original axle went? I certainly hope it was never used for scrap metal, although at the time I would certainly understanding the reasoning behind it had it been found! Cher xo


  10. May 26, 2015 at 10:37 am

    Haha! I love how detailed this wheal is, it’s really pretty. The one in Manchester, UK is all polished aluminium or something which looks rather impressive but not cute or romantic (like this one) at all.

    Liked by 1 person

    • May 26, 2015 at 10:39 am

      Haha! Well Chrissie, thank you so much for your lovely comments! I hadn’t looked at it that way before, but I sure will now!! Cher xo


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