Everyone knows that February 14th is Valentine’s Day, and I’m not one of those people who hates Valentine’s Day, but I’m also not one of those people who loves it. It’s fine, it’s whatever, forever alone, blah blah blah, but you know what also happens on February 14th? Ferris Wheel Day!

A picture of where I wish I was today...

A picture of where I wish I was today...

February 14th is George Washington Gale Ferris Jr’s birthday (this year would be his 155th birthday). As you’ve probably guessed, Mr. Ferris invented the Ferris Wheel. But wait, it gets way more exciting, guess where he invented it? Right here in Pittsburgh! Mr. Ferris was a bridge and railroad builder here in the ‘burgh until he accepted the challenge of creating an attraction for the World’s Colombian Exposition to surpass the awe-inspiring Eiffel Tower of the 1889 Paris Exhibition. (The Exposition took place in Chicago during the summer of 1893, which is why Chicago tries to claim the Ferris Wheel as their own.)

The OG Ferris Wheel. It's Huge!

The OG Ferris Wheel. It's Huge!

This first Ferris Wheel was way crazier than the Ferris Wheels you’ve likely encountered at carnivals and on boardwalks. Ferris’ master creation, which was made of steel and iron from our beloved city, boasted 36 passenger cars with room for as many as 60 people per car. Some simple math will then tell you that this monster of a Ferris Wheel could carry over 2,000 people at once.

"Hey Girl, I heard you're from where Ferris Wheels were invented..."

"Hey Girl, I heard you're from where the Ferris Wheel was invented... Wanna go out sometime?"

So Happy Ferris Wheel Day! Here’s to hoping you have a Valentine to ride on one with. And if not, maybe you can hope that some kind of Ryan Gosling circa The Notebook type will find you.

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