This is where the The Big Eli Wheel sits, for travelers to look and ride on.
It was the year of 1893 and W.E. Sullivan had traveled up to Chicago, Illinois. His reason was for the World’s Fair known as the Columbian Exposition. During his visit at the Columbian Exposition, He saw his very first Ferris Wheel. He was astounded at the beauty and elegance of the contraption. After taking his first ride on Mr. Ferris’ Wheel he was overwhelmed with joy and wanted more. So he decided to make his own ferris wheel.
Meanwhile, Mr. Sullivan had a bridge building company back home in Roodhouse, IL called Eli Bridge Company. He had came up with an idea to turn his company into a Ferris Wheel building company. In contrast the “Eli Bridge Company” was conceived in the year of 1900, but it was not incorporated until the year of 1906 when Mr. Sullivan had taken on capital investors to mass-produce his wheels. The company also just doesn't serve its customers here in the U.S. they are providing their products worldwide. There was a lot of judgment and doubt from his family and the business community of Roodhouse about his ideas and wishes of making his very first and own Ferris Wheel. Without support from family and the community, he still decided to make his own Ferris Wheel on March 23, 1900 with the help of a machinist named James H. Clements. Exactly a two months later on May 23, 1900 he had finished the “Big Eli” Wheel and as soon as Mr. Sullivan and Mr. Clements were finished with the ferris wheel they had decided to put it in the Community park of Jacksonville Illinois where it still sits today fully functional and it is kept up to par every year. You can also go and see on the plaque near the ferris wheel about the travels around the us and mexico it had made. But it drew more attention then he would've ever imagined Because of the “Big Eli” wheel this town is known as the “Big Eli City” or the “FerrisWheel City.” The company has also produced“Big Eli”Wheels for Michael Jackson and Dolly Parton. Michael Jackson’s wheel is at his Neverland Ranch in California, and Dolly Parton’s wheel is at Dollywood in Tennessee. Besides, famous stars owning there own “Big Eli” wheels, there are also many different movies that other “Big Eli” wheels have been apart of. For example, there is State Fair starring Pat Boone, Roustabout starring Elvis Presley, and Hearts of Atlantis.