Fun Facts

About the Ferris Wheel

When was the Ferris Wheel invented?
The Ferris Wheel was Invented in 1893 for the Chicago World’s Fair. The inventor George W. Ferris a bridge builder, came up with the concept of the Ferris Wheel and sketched it on a cocktail napkin at an Engineer’s Banquet in 1891.

How high was the first Ferris Wheel?
The first Ferris Wheel was 264 feet high. The Ferris Wheel on our Midway is a Wisdom mount – Eli Hy 5 Model. It stands 46’ high.

How did it run?
The first Ferris Wheel was operated by two 1000 horsepower reversible engines. The Ferris Wheel on our Midway requires only a 25 horsepower electric motor.

How many riders could go on it at once?
The original Ferris wheel could carry 60 passengers in each of the 36 cars, for a total capacity of 2160 passengers per rotation. Our Canadian Ferris Wheel can carry up to 36 passengers per rotation in twelve cars.

How much did it cost to ride it?
You could ride the first Ferris Wheel for only 50 cents. A ride on our Ferris Wheel in British Columbia can cost as little as $2.00 Canadian. In 1893, fifty cents was the equivalent of $10.52 today. A day’s pay in 1893 was about $1 per day, or $5 per week. To take your family of 5 for a ride on the first Ferris Wheel, it would have cost you half of your weekly salary! The equivalent of that today would be $250.00 to ride on a Ferris Wheel in BC.

To ride a Wheel of equivalent or comparable size…the largest wheel today The Star of Nanchang, stands 541 Feet high, twice the height of the original Ferris Wheel. Though this Wheel is not a “Ferris” Wheel, it would certainly rival the first one ever made.

How much did it cost to build the first Ferris Wheel?
$380,000 in 1893. By today’s value that would be the equivalent of $8,223,266. The largest Wheel in the World today is the Star of Nanchang, which cost 7.1 million dollars to build in 2006.

Famous People who have enjoyed a Ride On the Shooting Star Ferris Wheel