Thursday, June 8, 2017

Ferris Wheels






Ferris wheel at the seafront in Eastbourne.

London Eye

A Frenchman, Antonio Manguino, introduced the idea of the wheel to America in 1848, when he constructed a wooden pleasure wheel to attract visitors to his start-up fair in Walton Spring, Georgia (now Spring Street which is in Atlanta, Georgia.)

There, isn't that interesting? I only just learned this when I was reading the history of the Ferris wheel. Wheels had been around for a while but the Ferris wheel as we know it was invented by ...wait for it...an American!  His name was George Washington Gale Ferris, Jr, an engineer.  In 1893, the directors of the World Expo in Chicago issued a challenge to American engineers to design a monument that was unique and original, something to rival the Eiffel Tower (which was built in 1889, I am sure you all remember.)  Mr. Ferris proposed a wheel that would allow visitors to view the entire exhibition.  The directors did not think this could be safe! He did so, of course and it was a huge hit with the crowds.

Oh dear, what a sad story this turns out to be.  After the fair closed, Mr. Ferris sued the directors claiming that he and his investors were robbed of the $750,000 profit that was made at the fair.
(By the time the Ferris Wheel in Chicago was demolished, it had carried 2.5 million passengers.) George Washington Gale Ferris, Jr. died of typhoid fever in 1896.  He was only 37.

Dare I say to you that I wish that could make a film about him? 
Don't you want to know more about him? 
When some famous director makes this movie, you will know where he got the idea!

1893 Chicago Ferris Wheel
I remember reading that the London Eye is technically not a ferris wheel...it is more like a wheel of a bicycle.   Hey, I am no engineer, just telling you what I read about it years ago!
  The London Eye was supposed to be temporary, I can't imagine that they would ever let it go now! 

Oh look...here is something I found...
And let's not forget that the London Eye was supposed to be a temporary structure. It was only tentatively given planning permission for the first five years after the millennium. Its future is now secure, in planning terms at least, for at least another 20 years, but it is likely to be there a great deal longer.

See!  I told you!  It is such a burden being right all the time but I try to muddle through somehow!

Do you like Ferris Wheels?  You know I do!



Wheel of Fortune!  You know I had to find some kind of wheel video for you!

27 comments:

  1. Another equally entertaining and informative post from you, dear Kay :-)
    I like Ferris wheels but have not been on one in a long time. I think the last one I went on was in Sheffield in 2010 or so. It should even be on my blog...

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    1. I am never that fond of ...oh let's see...things that move, things that go up high, things that over the water...so why should I like Ferris Wheels? I can't say really, I guess I tend to look out over the view, you know how much I love my views!!

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  2. I was afraid of the Ferris wheel when I was a young girl - they seemed so rickety at the Macon (Georgia) Fair. But I wanted to ride the one they have in downtown Atlanta, near the Georgia Aquarium, and couldn't get my sister and niece to ride with me. I think it would be fun to ride at night.

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    1. I might have gone to that fair in Macon, we lived in Forsyth when I was ten years old, so it is a possibility!
      I also haven't been to the one in Atlanta, but then, I hardly ever go to Atlanta! :-)

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  3. I always like Ferris Wheels and looking out all around. It's one ride at amusement parks that I can still do. Although I have to keep my eyes focused looking out and not down. Heights tend to make me dizzy. London certainly has been in our thoughts and prayers.

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    1. You are just like me then! I do exactly the same, I can't stand great heights but if I look OUT instead of DOWN, I am okay!
      London certainly has been in my thoughts and prayers too.

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  4. I always liked Ferris Wheels until the last time I rode the Giant in Dallas. Somehow my heart was not in it that day and I kept my eyes closed throughout! Great photos and interesting story.

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    1. What! Open those eyes and enjoy the ride! :-)

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  5. I don't like any up-and-over rides. They scare me to death.

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    1. I am okay unless they turn me upside down, I can do without that!

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  6. I don't mind a Ferris wheel so long as it's not TOO big. My Rare One wants us to go on the London Eye next time we're there. I make non-committal noises and promise nothing, NOTHING.

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    1. No, you MUST go on the London Eye if you have the chance!
      PROMISE me you will! I can only tell you that when we first were there in 2006, my husband and son were both astonished that I booked tickets for it, I am THAT scared of heights! Honestly, it moves s o s l o w l y - you just don't know how high you are! (And as stated above, you look OUT at the gorgeous views!)
      I have not been on it at night yet, but my son has and he loves it.

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    2. Alright, Kay -- I trust you and I'll take your word for it!

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  7. I miss riding Ferris wheels. I do not ride any rides like that any more. Great onfo though. Thank you. Blessings, xoxo, Susie

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    1. I don't do rides either but a Ferris Wheel? I am game for that one!

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  8. They are beautiful, and they scare me.

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    1. But they ARE beautiful, aren't they?

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  9. When I was little my mother only let me ride the Merry Go Round. I so much wanted to be on a Ferris Wheel! When I was older I realized I'm not that crazy about heights! But Ferris Wheels are alluring, especially the London Eye!

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    1. Oh that London Eye! When I saw where they were building it, I was upset since it is so close to the Houses of Parliament, I have always loved that stretch beside the Thames, but honestly, it is beautiful.

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  10. Interesting info Kay. One of the reasons I was so fascinated by the ideas in the Bioshock game trilogy is that it was partly inspired by the Chicago World expo of 1893 you mention that transformed the architecture of that city due to its boldness and vast scale. Up until then I'd never heard of 'American Exceptionalism' and many other concepts in vogue from that period. They had the money then to completely remake an entire city-space into something truly breathtaking in a few short years. Nowadays it's all glass and steel corporate towers that look very similar and lack real flair in many cases but back then imagination ran wild with elaborate creations.
    I've been on a few ferris wheels but the London Eye had a massive queue when I passed it so I ended up in the nearby London Aquarium instead.

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    1. Glass and steel corporate towers that look all the same, that sounds like most of the buildings that I see around here! (Not in my little town but a good many American cities.)
      The first time I saw London was 1981 and a good many of the Victorian buildings that I loved from that time have been torn down but I will never forget seeing architecture like that for the first time. I like some of the modern buildings in London but not all of them. Oddly enough, I really like the Shard, I didn't think I would, but I think it is beautiful. If you wonder why I don't mention any American cities, it is because I know London better than any other city!
      And PLEASE, make sure you get on the London Eye, long queue or not! You will thank me.

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  11. I'm guessing that what sets the London Eye apart is either the support system or the spoke arrangement or both. I never noticed until now that instead of having a hub suspended between two supports, like a Ferris wheel, it's supported on one side only. (I feel that the word "cantilevered" should be in that sentence somewhere.) A marvellous feat of balance and engineering, when you think about it.

    I'd never noticed these things before, and had never heard the history of the Ferris wheel. Thanks, Kay!

    P.S. When that movie gets made, who do you think should play Mr. Ferris? I'm envisioning Christian Bale. He's got that lean and hungry look.

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    1. Hey Sue! I am so glad that you saw this post, as a biker I hoped you would!
      The London Eye IS a marvelous feat of engineering, and is so beautiful and pleasing to the eye that you just don't want to take your eyes off of it. Day and night, it is a sight to see.
      Yes! Christian Bale would fit that role nicely, I should think. When the movie happens and he is the star, we will KNOW that someone in Hollywood reads my blog! LOL.

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  12. I enjoy seeing ferris wheels, but not so much being on them. I'm just too afraid of heights to be honest. I went on one last year and I got to see some amazing views.

    In-between mild panic attacks.

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    1. I am pretty much afraid of everything...water, heights, closed-in spaces...you name it! Having said that, I was determined that I would enjoy the London Eye and I did!

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  13. Interesting story, Kay; and I agree...one that would be the makings of a good movie.

    It's many years since I've been up in a ferris wheel...and I can't see this changing any time son! lol

    Thanks for sharing this tale.... :)

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    1. I had other things to write about but something made me think of a Ferris wheel and then, I read about the man who invented it. It intrigued me and I shared it with you! Hope all is well with you these days, Lee!

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