Giant Gondola Wheel George Washington Ferris and his giant Ferris Wheel In 1892 a bridge building engineer named George Washington Ferris had an idea for the upcoming Chicago Columbian Exposition...a giant observation wheel that would carry passengers high above the city and bring them smoothly back down. It took five trains, each thirty cars long, to bring the materials to Chicago. After months of construction, the huge undertaking was completed on time. And, during the 19-week Exposition the wheel ran 15 hours a day. Nearly 1.5 million people rode Mr. Ferris' giant wheel. The Giant Gondola Wheel you are about to ride was manufactured by Chance Rides, Inc. in Wichita, Kansas, and is the largest open gondola wheel manufactured in America since Mr. Ferris built the original in 1893. It is the largest trailer-mounted gondola wheel in the world, and can be erected without the use of cranes in one working day. Facts about this Giant Gondola Wheel:Height: 27 meters, nearly 100 feet tall Weight: Over 100 tons Capacity: 120 adult passengers or 160 children Power Eight 7.5HP variable speed electric motors Lighting: The wheel is illuminated by 6,000 10-watt incandescent light bulbs controlled by a computer to produce spectacular lighting effects.