Tag: George Ferris

Repost & Updates: Mr. Ferris, What a Wheel!

Ferris Wheel Navy Pier

This past May I wrote a post entitled, “Mr Ferris, What a Wheel” (which I’ve included in this post).  I just read that the iconic Ferris Wheel (in the above photo that I took at Navy Pier) is slated for removal; the last opportunity for Ferris Wheel fans to ride this Navy Pier jewel will be on September 27th of this year.  This Ferris Wheel has stood the test of a relatively short period of time, inviting young and old alike to ride the wheel since 1995.

But wait! Lest you think this skyline sensation is to be disassembled with not a thought about a replacement……………..The “new and improved” wheel will stand 50 feet TALLER than the current occupant permeating the downtown, Lakefront skyline.

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I wonder why the wheel is being replaced by a gargantuan spinner.  What’s that you say? Progress? Bigger, better, bolder?  Why, I’ll just stick to my observation of the new ‘wonder’, and let you be the judge of its grander go-’round.

Here’s the post from May if you are so inclined:

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?

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