Fer"ris wheel(?). An amusement device consisting of a giant power-driven vertically oriented steel wheel, revolvable on its horizontal stationary axle, and carrying a number of balanced passenger cars or open seats around its rim; the seats are suspended so as to remain horizontal as the wheel rotates, and, depending on the size of the wheel, the passengers when they reach the top may have a grand vista of the surrounding area; -- so called after G. W. G. Ferris, American engineer, who erected the first of its kind for the World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago in 1893. Ferris wheels are often found at traveling fairs and at permanent amusement parks. The Reisenrad in Vienna is one of the world's largest and most famous Ferris wheels.
[Webster 1913 Suppl. +PJC]
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