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Great post today on the Digital Research Library of the Illinois History Journal -  a comprehensive and detailed overview of the original Ferris Wheel at the 1893 Chicago World's Fair, including actual film of the great wheel in motion. 

THE FERRIS WHEEL

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Thanks for the post - a great site; the images are decent resolution.

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"Both Ferris and his associate W. F. Gronau also recognized the engineering marvel the wheel represented, as a giant wheel that would turn slowly and smoothly without structural failure had never before been attempted."

So wheels that turned slowly and smoothly with structural failure were the usual fare?

Close ups show how massive that thing was. 60 people per gondola. With limited personal travel confining most people's experience to the horizon of their small towns, the sight of that rolling steel colossus must've been more a life altering experience than mere amusement ride.

The fact that the 20 minute ride cost as much as the fair entrance suggests the relative value of the experience. 

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