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The Wheel

Harold Woods Jr.'s avatar Harold Woods Jr.

My exhibit is the Ferris Wheel in a quarter scale model inspired by the engineering marvel first unveiled at the 1893 World’s Fair in Chicago by George W. Ferris Jr. This Observation Wheel was a 250 foot diameter wheel made with more than 100,000 parts forged in a dozen steel mills. The wheel, lit by 3,000 of Edison's newly developed light bulbs, had an overall height of 265 feet, and 36 train-size cars holding up to 60 riders, with a total capacity of 2,160 people. My steel model, with 22,000 pieces, is representative of Ferris’ original creation. The lattice work was fabricated entirely by hand with over 34,000 gas welds, taking over a year and a half to complete. The model is created in the tinplate tradition of the 1920-1930’s and stands 6 feet tall with a wheel diameter of just over 5 feet. I built the Ferris Wheel because of my interest in railroad bridges, engineering, and the overall compelling story of George W. Ferris Jr.

Entry Details
  • Art form: 3-D
  • Depth: 3'
  • Medium: steel
  • Width: 5'
  • Year created: 2021
  • Height: 9'