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Ride & Attraction Tickets

Ferris Wheel - Concession 58

Doolin Catalog No. 28 - FERRIS WHEEL "A" ticket, signed by L.V. Rice, SUP'T - fare 50 cents for two revolutions on the wheel. Concession No. 58 granted to George W. Ferris to operate Ferris Wheel. His concession collected gross receipts of $733,085. Reference: WORLD'S COLUMBIAN EXPOSITION, DEPARTMENT OF COLLECTIONS - MAY 1, 1893, TO FEBRUARY 10, 1894, APPENDIX "E", P. 483.

The following description of how the great wheel was built on the fairgrounds was acquired from the file of "FERRIS WHEEL" located in the Chicago Historical Society Library.

In the Spring of 1892, George Washington Ferris went before the World's Columbian Exposition Ways & Means Committee with his plan for a vertical revolving wheel 250 feet in diameter and capable of carrying 2,160 people per load. In June, a concession was granted him only to be revoked the very next day. One member of the committee insisted that the wheel would be a "Monstrosity" and out of keeping with the dignity of the Exposition. Others too, were certain it would be a failure.

On December 16, 1892, a concession contract was granted to Ferris for the wheel to be located in the Midway Plaisance but NOT in Jackson Park. The Ferris Wheel Company was to retain the first $300,000 received from the sale of tickets, after which, one half of the gross receipts were to be paid to the World's Columbian Exposition Corporation.

Luther V. Rice was placed in charge of foundation work. Thirty six passenger cars were built 26 feetlong, 13 feet wide and 9 feet high with plate glass windows and a door at each end. Thirty eight chairs were provided for each car. On June 11, 1893, a trial trip was made using only six cars. Mrs. Margaret A. Ferris insisted on going on the first trip. The actual opening to the public however wasn't until June 21st.

In his speech, on opening day, Ferris said that he had finally, "gotten the wheels out of his head and made them a living reality". Margaret presented him with a golden whistle which he blew as a signal to start the wheel. The Iowa State Band struck up, "America", and the great wheel began to move slowly and majestically.

Ferris took extreme safety precautions. Doors were locked and heavy iron screens covered the windows of each car. Six platforms were erected on each side at different elevations so that six cars could be loaded and unloaded at once with people coming in at one end of the car and passing out through the other. A uniformed guard was to open platform gates and car doors, allowing people to pass into the car. Not one of the 1,750,000 passengers carried were injured in anyway.

Several stories abounded however, concerning injuries to people and pets. One story about a dog that was reported to have jumped out a window was concocted by a newspaper reporter. Letters were received from several couples wanting to be married while on the wheel. Two of these couples even went so far as to have their invitations printed and distributed for friends to attend their "Ferris Wheel Wedding". However, since regulations prohibited this type of thing, they had to be content to be married in the office of the Superintendent.

Vertical Transit Company

Doolin Catalog #32. Fare 10 cents. VERTICAL TRANSIT CO., CONCESSION 55, TRANSPORTATION BUILDING, ONE RIDE, "A" series. Orange ink on white paper with black serial number.

This concession was granted to Mr. S.H. Hale to operate eight elevators and cafe in the Transportation Building. The company collected gross receipts of $19,722.85 Reference: WORLD'S COLUMBIAN EXPOSITION. DEPARTMENT OF COLLECTIONS - MAY 1, 1893, TO FEBRUARY 10, 1894, CONCESSIONS, APPENDIX "E". This also provided an exhibit for the manufacturer of these elevators, the Otis Bros. Co., New York, Group 84, Exhibit 569.

An excellent description of these elevators is found in Rand McNally & Co.'s, A Week At The Fair: "The cupola, placed exactly at the center of the building, and rising 165 feet above the ground, is reached by eight elevators. These elevators of themselves naturally form a part of the transportation exhibit, and as they also carry passengers to galleries at various stages of height, a fine view of the interior of the building may be easily obtained. The main galleries of this building, will prove quite accessible to visitors." Unfortunately, these elevators were closed to the public after the July Cold Storage Building fire.

Pier Movable Sidewalk


Concession No. 79, granted and operated by the Multiple Speed & Traction Company with gross receipts of $55,207. Reference: WORLD'S COLUMBIAN EXPOSITION. DEPARTMENT OF COLLECTIONS - MAY 1, 1893, TO FEBRUARY 10, 1894, CONCESSIONS, APPENDIX "E".

The Movable Sidewalk, located on the long pier east of the Peristyle, was constructed for the purpose of lessening the fatigue of visitors walking from the steamships, along the pier, into the fairgrounds. Owing to numerous delays in the construction, the sidewalk was not put into operation until July, from which time until the close of the Exposition it carried 997,785 people. It was capable of carrying 6,000 people at a time, and moved at the rate of six miles an hour. Unfortunately, breakdowns were common for the movable sidewalk.

Clow Sanitary Company - Series "O"

CLOW SANITARY CO. ticket in blue and signed by J.B. Clow, 5-cent "Admit One", Doolin Catalog No. "O" series is unlisted.

James B. Clow installed bathrooms in 32 locations throughout the fairgrounds and later maintained that his were the first pay toilets. Even though bathrooms were provided by the Exposition on the Fair grounds, the Clow Co. provided a better class of bathroom.

"Concession No. 140., Clow Sanitary Co., Sanitary Arrangements with gross receipts of $300,170.80".

Hagenbeck's Arena Menagerie and World's Ethnological Museum

>Doolin Catalog No. 57, Concession 87, HAGENBECK'S ARENA, TWENTY FIVE CENT, ADMISSION TO MENAGERIE AND WORLD'S ETHNOLOGICAL MUSEUM ticket. No. 304710. Dimensions: 2-3/4 X 1-1/2 inches

Concession No. 87, granted to Hagenbeck's Zoological Arena Company to operate a Zoological Show. The company had gross receipts of $526,708.65. Reference: WORLD'S COLUMBIAN EXPOSITION. DEPARTMENT OF COLLECTIONS - MAY 1, 1893, TO FEBRUARY 10, 1894, CONCESSIONS, APPENDIX "E".

"This large building stood a little way west of the Illinois Central viaduct and on the south side of Midway Plaisance. The entrance was at the cloth canopy; and, directly under the pediment above this canopy, a cage was open to the air. In this cage four large lions were always exposed to public view, and at certain hours performed civilly for the benefit of all who did not like the atmosphere, or could not afford the charges, of the arena.

Entering, the visitor was soon in the circular structure which may be seen above the cornice of the facade. Seats here surrounded a circular cage, and rose, as in any other circus, to the ceiling. Trainer Mehrmann came in with dogs, horses and lions. The lion rode a horse and the dog rode the lion. The lion leaped over hurdles while on horseback, and balanced with another lion on a board. This exhibition was regarded with great satisfaction by the people because one lion appeared in ugly humor, snapping his teeth at the dog and often at Mehrmann. Promptly on the Fourth of July it was published that this lion made an attack on the trainer at one of the seven performances of that day, and each visitor could believe that if he had been present at one of the other six entertainments he would have seen the lion bite the man. A corridor outside surrounded the arena-something like the outside circle at the Fisheries East Pavilion, and the cages of animals were here shown. Two million people paid admission. The Manager was Samuel Hofheimer. Hagenbeck lives in Hamburg and had a lawsuit about the menagerie. The dwarf elephant, Lily died. Here was a building into which a great deal over a million dollars was paid." Reference: Jewell N. Halligan, HALLIGAN'S ILLUSTRATED WORLD, A PORTFOLIO OF PHOTOGRAPHIC VIEWS, 1894, page 82.

Ice Railway

Doolin Catalog No. 29, Concession #61, ICE RAILWAY - 10 CENT ticket. No. 462826.

Dimensions: 2-1/16 X 1-1/16 inches

Concession No. 7, granted to De La Vergne & Rankin to operate a Snow and Ice Railway. It grossed $67,319.05. Reference: WORLD'S COLUMBIAN EXPOSITION. DEPARTMENT OF COLLECTIONS - MAY 1, 1893, TO FEBRUARY 10, 1894, CONCESSIONS, APPENDIX "E".

THE WORLD'S FAIR ICE RAILWAY - "The Ice Railway on Midway Plaisance was well known to millions of visitors, many of whom will long remember the pleasure of a ride over its icy surfaces. Vieing, as it did, in honors with the Ferris Wheel, it held, as the press of the world said, second place only to the great wheel in the triumph of mechanical effects, at this greatest of Expositions. The Ice Railway was built under patents allowed to Thomas L. Rankin, of Sacketts Harbor, New York, who received the medal and diploma awarded by the Exposition.

The concession was granted to J.C. De LaVergue and T. L. Rankin. The application was originally made to use it as a means of transportation from the south end of Horticultural building to the north end of the Liberal Arts building, the railway passing over the Wooded Island and the East Lagoon. Drawings were submitted showing beautiful wire rope suspension bridges located eighty feet apart, making each way a trip, loading and unloading at either end. There having been no bridge within one-quarter of a mile of this point on the East Lagoon, there is no doubt that the Fair Company and the projectors would have both done well financially had the concession been let in that form, especially when we consider that in the location the concession did have nineteen thousand people rode on the railway in a single day, and yet the main structure of the concession was hidden from view by other buildings erected immediately in front of it." Reference: James B. Campbell, WORLD'S COLUMBIAN EXPOSITION ILLUSTRATED, December 1893, page 284.

Natatorium - Concession 8 - 25 cents

Doolin Catalog No. 77, Concession 8, NATATORIUM, TWENTY FIVE CENTS, GYMNASE, ADMISSION ticket. Signed by S.D. Wyatt, TREAS.

Dimensions: 2-1/16 X 1-1/16 inches

Concession No. 8, granted to L.J. Kadish with gross receipts of $283,775.50. Reference: WORLD'S COLUMBIAN EXPOSITION. DEPARTMENT OF COLLECTIONS - MAY 1, 1893, TO FEBRUARY 10, 1894, CONCESSIONS, APPENDIX "E".

"The Natatorium is situated on the south side of Midway Plaisance, next east of the Panorama of the Bernese Alps, and opposite the east end of the German Village. (See map, locating the Natatorium on Midway Plaisance in scan)

This large building is divided into three sections - the first devoted to the baths, swimming-pools where many kinds of bathing may be enjoyed; the second is a bakery, adjoining which is a lunch room, the third is a cafe. There is also a dining room. Meals or lunches of a kind may be obtained." Reference: Rand, McNally & Co.s, A WEEK AT THE FAIR, p.239.

German Village Restaurant - Concession #7 - 10 cents

Concession No. 7, granted to Ulrich Jahn to operate a German Village. It grossed $622,500.30. Reference: WORLD'S COLUMBIAN EXPOSITION. DEPARTMENT OF COLLECTIONS - MAY 1, 1893, TO FEBRUARY 10, 1894, CONCESSIONS, APPENDIX "E".

IN THE GERMAN VILLAGE: "In contrast with Moorish palace and the Javanese colony is the German village, adjacent to the latter and covering nearly one sixth of the northern side of the plaisance. All the structures, 36 in number, illustrate the mediaeval architecture of that country, and especially of Bavaria. The visitor enters through the arched portal of a square tower, over which is the inscription "To the Golden Tankard." Within, music pavilions and refreshment halls are plentiful, Edelweiss beer served by rosy cheeked Bavarian barmaids, with bare, well-rounded arms, flowing freely, not into golden tankards but into capacious beer glasses". Reference: Hubert H. Bancroft, THE BOOK OF THE FAIR, VOL. II, 1893, page 858.

German Village Restaurant - Concession #7 - 25 cents

German Village Restaurant - Concession #7 - 50 cents

Doolin Catalog No. 111 Variety, Concession #7, GERMAN VILLAGE RESTAURANT - 50 CENT ticket, UNLISTED IN BROWN. No. 35150. (This ticket may have been issued for use only on a special day or one roll of these tickets might have been printed in error.)

Dimensions: 2 X 1-1/8 inches. Larger than the other listed tickets from this series.

German Village Restaurant - Concession #7 - 1 Dollar

Oceanic Trading Company - Concession #5 - 25 cents

Doolin Catalog No. 89, Concession #7, South Sea Islanders Village Theater - 25 CENT ticket. No. 189430. O.T.Co. 25 cents (Oceanic Trading Co.)

Concession #13 - Moorish Palace Restaurant - 5 cents

Doolin Catalog No. 105, Concession 13, Stand 3, MOORISH PALACE RESTAURANT 5 CENT ticket. No. 49321. Signed by J.H. Ferris, President and Manager.

Concession No. 13, granted to the Columbian Moorish Palace Co. to operate a Moorish Palace . Its gross receipts were $449,048.00. Reference: WORLD'S COLUMBIAN EXPOSITION. DEPARTMENT OF COLLECTIONS - MAY 1, 1893, TO FEBRUARY 10, 1894, CONCESSIONS, APPENDIX "E".

"The Moorish Palace, adjoining the Turkish village on the west, is architecturally interesting, as of the type so familiar and once so widely represented in Africa and Spain. Within it rugs, tiles, bronzes, swords, works of art, and curios are sold by turbaned Moors, who also act as waiters in the local restaurant. Figures in wax give the visitor a clear idea of a people which once played no mean part in the history of the world, and, if inclined, he may become so entangled in an ingenious labyrinth of optical illusions as to imagine a swart-visaged Berber in every corner. There are also about sixty groups in wax on the second floor, the figures being made in Paris, and representing not only European rulers but historic Americans. Scattered through the building are comely women, some in wax and others of flesh and blood, the skilful disposition of mirrors assisting to make the illusions more complete. In a separate chamber is a grewsome sight in the form of the scaffold and guillotine used for the execution of Marie Antoinnette, the executioner and attending officials being shown in wax. In the background a painting represents a crowd of the proletariat gloating over her death, and near the gullotine, the blade of which is rusted with blood, is the wicker basket ready to receive the head of the victim." Reference: Hubert Bancroft, THE BOOK OF THE FAIR, VOL. II, 1893, page 858.

Concession #13 - Moorish Palace Restaurant - 10 cents

Concession #13 - Moorish Palace Restaurant - 25 cents

Concession #102 - 5 cents

Concession #19 - 10 cents

Doolin Catalog No. 138, Concession #19, - 10 CENT ticket. No. 12597.

Concession #20 - Blue - 10 cents

Doolin Catalog No. 143, Concession #20, - 10 CENT ticket. No. 174817.

Concession #65 - 15 cents

Doolin Catalog No. 147, Concession #65, - 15 CENT ticket. No. 37539.

Concession #64 - 15 cents

Concession #25 - 25 cents

Not listed in Doolin Catalog.

Concession #35 - 50 cents

Not listed in Doolin Catalog.

Concession #49 - 2 Dollars

Concession #50 - 2 Dollars

Concession #51 - 2 Dollars

Wellington Catering Co. - Conc. #65 25 cents

Doolin Catalog No. 102, Concession #65, - Wellington Catering Co. - 25 CENT ticket. No. 576056.

World's Fair Steamship Co. - Attached tickets for to and from the Fair

Doolin Catalog No. 23, THE WORLD'S FAIR STEAMSHIP CO. 1893, GOOD ONLY FOR DOCK AND DAY ISSUED, WORLD'S FAIR GROUNDS TO CHICAGO, "B", Signed by J. Harley Bradley and printed by the Keller Printing Co., New York. No. 053795 and 053794.

World's Fair Steamship Co.

World's Fair Steamship Co.

Concession No. 15, granted to the World's Fair Steamship Co. to operate steamships. It grossed $233,451.35. Reference: WORLD'S COLUMBIAN EXPOSITION. DEPARTMENT OF COLLECTIONS - MAY 1, 1893, TO FEBRUARY 10, 1894, CONCESSIONS, APPENDIX "E".

THE WHALEBACK STEAMER - "When the first of the class appeared upon the lakes it was the subject of much ridicule, but soon it demonstrated its capacity for speed under all conditions of wind and weather. At the Fair the Whaleback representative was the Christopher Columbus, its steel cylinder-like body being more than 360 feet in length, tapering from the middle toward the bow and stern; and the ends of the cylinder lifting high out of the water like a birch-bark canoe. The vessel was lighted throughout with electricity and elegantly furnished, the grand saloon containing several fountains and large aquaria filled with lake fish. Besides conveying passengers from the city to the Exposition, the Christopher Columbus made several excursions to Milwaukee and neighboring ports, upon which occasions it proved itself the fastest boat on the lakes. By the World's Fair Steamship company 1,758,665 passengers were carried during the Exposition season." Reference: Hubert H. Bancroft, THE BOOK OF THE FAIR, VOL. II, 1893, page 603.

Wild East - Concession 257 - 50 cents

Doolin Catalog No. 97, Concession 257, WILD EAST, FIFTY CENT ticket. No. 62340.

Dimensions: 2-1/16 X 1-1/16 inches

Concession No. 257, granted to S.K. Bistani to operate a Bedouin camp. It grossed $47,217.50. Reference: WORLD'S COLUMBIAN EXPOSITION. DEPARTMENT OF COLLECTIONS - MAY 1, 1893, TO FEBRUARY 10, 1894, CONCESSIONS, APPENDIX "E".

Cairo Street - Concession 4 - 25 cents

Java Village Gate Admittance - Concession 234 - 10 Cents

Java Theater - Concession 234 - 25 cents

>Chocolat Menier - Concession 176 - 15 cents

John Bull Train Ticket