Great Wheel at Earl's Court
The Earl's Court Great Wheel was built in 1894-5. It was based on the ferris wheel at the Chicago Exhibition. It was 300 feet high (90m) and had 40 cars. Each car held 40 passengers, so up to 1600 people could ride the wheel at one time. The wheel was in operation for 12 years, during which time this photograph was taken. The Great Wheel later became unprofitable and was demolished in 1907.
Exhibitions at Earl's Court
The Earl's Court exhibition was built on land that became available after the layout of the District & Western Extension Railways. In 1887, the American Exhibition was staged there. It lasted for five months and was so successful that it sparked an interest in future exhibitions.
The Hungarian showman, Imre Kiralfy later bought the Earl's Court lease. He had previously staged spectacles in America. He rebuilt the Earl's Court site and opened the spectacular 'Empire of India' exhibition in May 1895.
Museum number IN491