About this Collection
One of the best ways to get a birds-eye-view of the Fair was to buy a ticket to ride on the Ferris, or Observation, wheel.
Each of the wheel's 36 cars could carry sixty passengers to a dizzying height of 250 feet. From this vantagepoint riders enjoyed looking down on the Japanese gardens, Old Jerusalem, and some of the huge Palaces.
An attendant was assigned to each car. One of the attendant's duties was to calm passengers when a surprise storm approached or when electricity to the wheel went out and the wheel stopped moving.
Named after its inventor, George Washington Gale Ferris, the wheel first appeared at the Chicago Columbian Exposition in 1893. It was transported from that city to St. Louis in 175 freight cars.
Many stories were told of the fun people had riding the wheel. The cars were rented for parties and dinners. One couple married while riding on the Wheel.
At the end of the Fair, dynamite was used to dismantle the structure. In the years that followed, some pieces of the Ferris wheel were dug up in Forest Park.