single-sided exceptionally rare 19th century elongated oval-shaped cast iron and pine wood world's columbian exposition ferris wheel mobile construction office "foreman" sign

Regular Price: $1,200.00

Special Price $960.00

Availability: In Stock

UR #:: UR-26847-17

Please Note: We do not appraise, nor do we disclose the prices of items sold.

Questions? Click here or call our store at 312.492.6254. Please make sure to reference the UR# when submitting an email.

Note: Shipping is not included. If required please contact an Urban Remains sales associate.


Product Description

very rare late 19th century single-sided exterior "foreman" occupational sign purportedly salvaged from the temporary and/or mobile construction office or shack housing the general contractors involved in the construction of the chicago world's fair of 1893 (more commonly referred to as the world's columbian exposition). the heavily weathered elongated oval-shaped pine wood sign contains cast iron letters affixed to the sign with diminutive steel screws. the unrestored office door sign exhibits surface wear consistent with age. the original ferris wheel, sometimes also referred to as the "chicago wheel" was constructed at a height 264 feet and was considered the largest attraction at the world's columbian exposition in chicago, illinois, where it opened to the public on june 21, 1893. it was intended to rival the 1,063 ft. eiffel tower, the centerpiece of the 1889 paris exposition. ferris was a graduate of rensselaer polytechnic institute and a pittsburgh, pennsylvania, bridge-builder. he began his career in the railroad industry and then pursued an interest in bridge building. ferris understood the growing need for structural steel and founded g.w.g. ferris & co. in pittsburgh, a firm that tested and inspected metals for railroads and bridge builders. the wheel rotated on a 71-ton, 45.5-foot axle comprising what was at that time the world's largest hollow forging, manufactured in pittsburgh by the bethlehem iron company and weighing 89,320 pounds, together with two 16-foot-diameter cast-iron spiders weighing 53,031 pounds. there were 36 cars, each fitted with 40 revolving chairs and able to accommodate up to 60 people, giving a total capacity of 2,160. the wheel carried some 38,000 passengers daily and took 20 minutes to complete two revolutions, the first involving six stops to allow passengers to exit and enter and the second a nine-minute non-stop rotation, for which the ticket holder paid 50 cents. the exposition ended in october 1893, and the wheel closed in april 1894 and was dismantled and stored until the following year. it was then rebuilt on chicago's north side, near lincoln park, next to an exclusive neighborhood. this prompted william d. boyce, then a local resident, to file a circuit court action against the owners of the wheel to have it removed, but without success. it operated there from october 1895 until 1903, when it was again dismantled, then transported by rail to st. louis for the 1904 world's fair and finally destroyed by controlled demolition using dynamite on may 11, 1906. the sign measures 19 x 4 1/2 inches