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In Devil in the White City:
“Ferris had created more than simply an engineering novelty. Like the inventors of the elevator, he had conjured an entirely new physical sensation.” Page 270
Erik Larson writes in The Devil in the White City, the ferris wheel was easily the most popular thing to do at the exposition. The inventor, George Washington Ferris created cars with wood paneled walls and plush seats and even a counter where riders could enjoy the lunch they brought with them. But, of course, the best part was the view – a birds eye look at the beautiful white city and a look at the city of Chicago and Lake Michigan. After the fair was over the wheel was dismantled and moved to another part of Chicago. Ferris’s wheel did appear at the St. Louis Exposition and then afterward it was permanently disassembled which of course makes it unavailable to you. However – I found a way to salvage this experience. There is a ferris wheel on Navy Pier. I headed over there – I did not find wood paneled walls or plush seats – it was a standard modern ferris wheel. Even so – it did offer magnificent fifteen-story views and if I looked closely, to the south along the water, I had to squint a little, but I did almost see the white city.
The World’s Columbian Exposition is a little different from the Ferris Wheel at Navy Pier.