Ferris Wheel Day

February 14th is not just a day for love; it’s also a day to celebrate Ferris Wheels!  This date in February marks the birthday of George Washington Ferris, engineer and designer of the world’s first Ferris Wheel. (If George were alive today he would be turning 157!)

In 1893 the United States was thrilled to host the World’s Fair where exhibitors from around the world could show off their nation’s greatest accomplishments.  With France astonishing the world with the Eiffel Tower four years prior, it was America’s turn to leave the fair-goers breathless. George Ferris did just that with his giant structure that not only looked beautiful, but was also something you could ride – over 2,000 people at one time!  The enormous spinning wheel was even more amazing at night when it was lit up by another new invention, thousands of glowing light bulbs.

There are two picture books that stand out as having especially beautiful illustrations of the world’s first Ferris Wheel:

Mr. Ferris and his Wheel

 

 

Fanstastic Ferris Wheel

Books about George Ferris have become increasing popular; especially as the push for STEM themed curriculum has increased.  Pairing these stunning picture books with some simple building materials could be the start of an amazing Makerspace for any library or classroom.

More great books that highlight the life of George Washington Ferris:

George Ferris' Grand Idea                George Ferris                 The Man who

Mr. Ferris and his Wheel by Kathryn Gibbs Davis. 9780547959221. 2014. Gr K-3

The Fantastic Ferris Wheel by Betsy Harvey Kraft. 9781627790727. 2015. Gr 1-3

George Ferris’ Grand Idea for the Ferris Wheel by Jenna Glatzer. 9781479571659. 2015. Gr 1-4

George Ferris: What a Wheel by Barbara Lowell. 9780448479255. 2014. Gr K-3

The Man who invented the Ferris Wheel by Dani Sneed. 9781464402067. 2014. Gr 3-6

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