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The first Ferris Wheel was designed by George W. Ferris, a bridge-builder from Pittsburgh, Pa. Ferris began his career in the railroad industry and then pursued an interest in bridge building. Understanding the growing need for structural steel, Ferris founded G.W.G. Ferris & Co., a firm that tested and inspected metals for railroads and bridge builders. He built the Ferris Wheel for the 1893 World’s Fair, which was held in Chicago to commemorate the 400th anniversary of Columbus landing in America.

-Mary Bellis, About.com

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