Among the many rides found in different amusement parks throughout the world, the Ferris wheel remains to be one of the most popular. Every day, thousands of people enjoy the rush and excitement of riding a Ferris wheel. But before the biggest, tallest and most exciting Ferris wheel rides were constructed, they have been known as "pleasure wheels". Have you ever wondered how the amazing Ferris wheels of today started?
How It All Started
Although the term "Ferris wheel" came from the name of its designer George Washington Gale Ferris Jr., many historians believe that the idea began in the 17th century. Originally, the wheel was made with large wooden rings and was operated to move with the effort of strong men pulling the ropes. It was then termed as the "big wheel" or the "great wheel".
In 1892, a man named William Somers was able to have a patent for "Roundabouts", which is the same as the Ferris wheel of today. When George Washington Gale Ferris Jr. rode on the "roundabouts", he had the idea of developing his own wheels. Although he was sued for copying the idea of Somers, Ferris won the case and was able to take the honor of naming the amusement feature with his own name.
Popularity of Ferris Wheels
There are probably thousands of Ferris wheel rides all over the world in various amusement parks. They vary in many different ways such as the method of operation, size and height. One of the most popular ones is the Singapore Flyer which is 165 meters (541 ft) tall. It was introduced to the public in the year 2008 and has been holding the record for the tallest Ferris wheel drive since then. Another popular Ferris wheel is the London Eye which is considered the tallest in the Western world. It is 135 meters in height and has been operated since 2000. Another popular Ferris wheel is the one located in Nanchang, Jiangxi, China. The Star of Nanchang Ferris wheel is 160 meters in height and has been in the market since 2006.
Risks Associated with Ferris Wheel
Since the beginning of the invention of Ferris wheel, several problems and issues have been associated with it. There have been many cases of deaths, injuries, disabilities and psychological trauma due to the malfunctions and accidents that have occurred with some Ferris wheels. Although technical issues are the main reasons for the said occurrences, there were some cases where negligence has been considered as the nature of the incident.
In order to prevent technical-related issues, builders have worked hard to make the Ferris wheel a safer ride. Durable materials and cable wires have been used to protect riders from any accident. When it comes to issues regarding negligence, operators of Ferris wheel rides do their best to show the importance of using safety gears during the ride such as the use of seat belts.
You can surely enjoy a Ferris wheel ride by visiting a good amusement center. However, you should remember to prioritize your safety by following the instructions.