Victorian Trivia: The Ferris Wheel

During the World’s Columbian Exhibition held at Chicago in 1893, George Ferris introduced his Ferris Wheel. The Ferris Wheel was an American response to Gustave Eiffel’s Tower built for the 1889 Universal Exhibition hosted in Paris. A massive structure, the Ferris Wheel had nearly 1,500,000 riders during its run from June through October 1893. The Wheel had 36 cars and towered 250 feet over the Exhibition’s midway.

About how many people could fit into each car?

A. 5
B. 14
C. 36
D. 60




———————-> D. 60

What happened to the Ferris Wheel? After the Exhibition it was moved to Chicago’s Lincoln Park where it resided until being sold in 1903. The Wheel appeared at the Louisiana Purchase Exposition held at St. Louis during 1904. Following the Exposition, the Wheel was dynamited and sold off for scrap.

For more information and photographs about the 1893 World’s Columbian Exhibition, I recommend this article from the Chicago Historical Society.

– Andrew Clark

Bonus Trivia: What famous American landmark is supported by an Eiffel structure? Email your answer to for two free passes to Whaley House Museum.


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