Tuesday, November 22, 2011

the final Ferris

...at least, surely I can't cram too many more Ferris wheels into this year?  Here's the one from last night, waiting to be dismantled, reflected in yet another piece of USC's water.   The original Ferris wheel was designed by George Washington Gale Ferris Jr in 1893 for the Columbian World's Fair in Chicago - it was meant to "out-Eiffel Eiffel" in terms of the views that it gave.   Powered by steam boilers, it carried on rotating until 1906 - poor Ferris doesn't seem to have received anything like the share of the profits that he should have done - but it moved around, going first to Lincoln Park, Chicago, and then heading down to St Louis for the 1904 Exposition (and it was eventually, deliberately, blown up by dynamite).  Quite why anyone thought it would outdo the Eiffel Tower's panoramic scope mystifies me - it was only 264 feet tall, as opposed to the Eiffel Tower's 1,063 (the London Eye, if you're measuring, is 443 feet).   I'm not sure how good a view one would have got from this one - like so many modern wheels it seemed to spin and rotate and dip and go through a whole lot of other motions that I know would make me pass out ...

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