The directors of the 1893 Columbian Exposition wanted to outdo the Paris World’s Fair. The hit of that fair had been Gustave Eiffel’s soaring iron tower. On June 21st, the world saw Chicago’s answer to the challenge: George Washington Ferris’s giant wheel.
When Long John Wentworth was elected mayor in the spring of 1857, he pledged to clean up the city. Today that would mean an attack on political corruption. In Long John’s time, he meant a literal clean up: Chicago looked like a junkyard.