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Event Planning, funfair events, Funfair Rides

Hiring A Ferris Wheel

17 November 2020

Few rides are more iconic than the traditional Ferris Wheel, or big wheel as they tend to be called in the UK. But Hiring A Ferris wheel has a number of choices available.

The name derives from the wheel designed by George Washington Gale Ferris Jnr for the World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago in 1893. There is some argument over this being the ‘original’ wheel as a certain William Somers installed 3 wooden wheels in parks in New Jersey and New York, a year earlier. A court case ensued which Somers lost, as it was ruled the Ferris wheel was sufficiently different to not infringe on his patent.

There are accounts from travelling merchants describing wheels in the Ottoman empire in the 17th century, so perhaps the real name should be ‘Ottoman Wheels!’

Whatever the true origins, big wheel hire is one of those traditional fairground rides that people associate with a funfair. Most of us will have ridden a wheel in our youth. Along with helter skelters, swing boats, dodgems and a carousel.

Wheel Sizes

The traditional type wheel is usually around 35ft in height with perhaps 16-20 cars. There are however even larger versions now available. These originally appeared on the continent, and were variously termed giant wheels, observation wheels or continental wheels. They tended initially to be erected in city centres or at theme parks and didn’t travel. Reaching huge heights, they were never really going to be practical to take to corporate events. Or smaller fairgrounds. A new breed of portable wheels have appeared that bridge the gap between the smaller UK wheels and the giant versions.

Whatever type or size you need we can supply and install a wheel to suit your event. Check us out for Hiring A Ferris Wheel.

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