Photographer: Waterman / Credit: Chicago Historical Society, used by permission

A view of the Ferris Wheel on the midway, the star attraction of the 1893 World's Fair. George W. Ferris invented the wheel specifically for the fair, as an answer to France's Eiffel Tower. The wheel was a wondrous feat of engineering: supported by two 140-foot steel towers and connected by a 45-foot axle, it was the largest single piece of forged steel ever made at the time. With a diameter of 250 feet and thirty-six cars holding sixty riders each, the Ferris wheel carried around 1,450,000 paying customers over the course of the fair.

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