The first Ferris Wheel at the 1893 World's Fair.
The first Ferris wheel was designed by George Washington Gale Ferris, a Pittsburgh bridge-builder and founder of G.W.G. Ferris & Co., a Pittsburgh firm that tested metals for bridges and railroads. Built for the 1893 World's Fair in Chicago commemorating the 400th anniversary of Columbus's trip to America, the wheel was supported by two 140-foot steel towers connected by a 45-foot axle, which was the single largest piece of steel forged until that time. At 50¢ a ride, the wheel made $726,850.50 during the fair. The original wheel was destroyed in 1906.