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Friday, March 23, 2012

"Big Eli" Ferris Wheel Debuts

On this date, Friday, March 23, 1900, the first “Big Eli®” Ferris wheel debuted in Jacksonville, Illinois’ own Central Park. The new amusement ride was a great success.

In 1906, William E. Sullivan incorporated the Eli Bridge Company by taking on capital investors to mass-produce his wheels. Rock Springs Park would later purchase and erect a 12-seat Big Eli, adding a sign board which boasted that from the top one could “See 3 States.”

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