The Dream City, Paul V. Galvin 
Digital History Collection
Page Next Page
  View larger images: 750x500 pixels or 1500x1000 pixels
  AXLE OF THE FERRIS WHEEL - As the principle of the Ferris Wheel was tension in its lower spokes, the upper spokes hanging on the arch that was supported by the lower spokes, it followed that the axle of the wheel must be of uncommon size, integrity and strength. To be certain that his wheel would not fall, Mr. Ferris made this axle large enough and strong enough to bear a burden six times as great as the weight of the cantilever bridge across the Ohio River at Cincinnati, which structure is computed to weigh about as much as the Ferris Wheel. With an axis six times as stout as he might need, the mechanician was safe to proceed, for he has had a wholesome fear of accident, realizing that one bad disaster at the beginning would destroy all hopes of financial success. Two men and a boy, under the big hammer at Bethlehem, the model of which was a central feature of the Transportation Building, forged the piece of hammered steel, and it arrived safely at Chicago and was handled in the coldest weather. The shaft was solid, and forty-five feet long; it was thirty-two inches in diameter, and weighed as much as a heavy locomotive - that is seventy tons. It was and is the heaviest piece of steel ever forged - certainly outside of Krupp's works at Essen. It is seen in the engraving as it began its ascent to the sockets that were to receive it on top of the towers, one hundred and forty feet upward, and after it was in place the hubs that catch all the tension spokes were fitted to hold their burden of two thousand tons.
Exposition Home Page || Previous Page || Next Page || Dream City Main Page

Copyright, Paul V. Galvin Library
Digital History Collection
Page created: August 26, 1998