U.S. Patents for Ferris Wheels

Links on the left provide access to roller coaster-related patents on the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) server. This content is provided by the USPTO. Links on the right provide access via Google Patents, which may provide easier image viewing as well as serving patent pdfs. For more information, return to the patent home page.

This page contains the second division of rotating rides, those in which the path of motion is approximately a circle in a vertical plane. Playground-scale rides (including most occupant-propelled rides) are largely excluded. Some rides were identified with the aid of

Norman Anderson, Ferris Wheels: An Illustrated History. (Bowling Green: Bowling Green State University Popular Press, 1992).

This highly-recommended book contains a list of ferris wheel-related patents and shows pages of figures from more than 100 patents.

Other rotating and swinging rides are on the following pages:
Carousels, himalaya rides, etc.
Other flat rides (including unidentified rides)

Miscellaneous rides are on the other rides page or the other amusement devices page.

also on this page

patent applications

Ferris Wheels and Variants

patent number issue date inventor/ assignee patent title [comment] google link
169797 11/1875 Forrester Rotary swing/Improvement in rotary swings [Epicycloidal Diversion] 169797
336696 3/1886 Campi Vertical rotary swing 336696
489238 1/1893 Somers Roundabout [ferris wheel] 489238
506828 10/1893 Murrey Observation wheel 506828
512429 1/1894 Wyand Observation roundabout 512429
535362 3/1895 DeVore Vertical rotary swing 535362
544866 8/1895 Schnitzler Roundabout and observatory [ferris wheel and tower] 544866
583121 5/1897 Pattee Amusement wheel 583121
669621 3/1901 Conderman Pleasure wheel [portable ferris wheel] 669621
678670 7/1901 Kling Railroad ferris wheel [multiple] 678670
741964 10/1903 Harlan Amusement wheel 741964
774209 11/1904 Stubbs Pleasure wheel 774209
793183 6/1905 De Vore Means for furnishing amusement and diversion [ferris wheel] 793183
796772 8/1905 Sullivan Swinging seat for use in amusement wheels 796772
816435 3/1906 Connelly Amusement apparatus 816435
809937 1/1906 Friede/ Carter Amusement apparatus 809937
832965 10/1906 Gottlieb Amusement device [truck-mounted ferris wheel] 832965
841783 1/1907 Jones/ American Novel Machine Amusement apparatus 841783
852248 4/1907 Watson Amusement device 852248
852308 4/1907 Watson Amusement device 852308
853155 5/1907 Boardman Amusement apparatus 853155
855132 5/1907 Pulman & Leatherland Amusement device 855132
858768 7/1907 Thomas/ National Concessions Amusement apparatus 858768
867187 9/1907 Chubbuck Pleasure swing [Wheel Swing] 867187
871722 11/1907 Millican Amusement device 871722
881095 3/1908 Chubbock Pleasure Wheel 881095
899286 9/1908 Biavati Car for observation wheels 899286
900820 10/1908 Becker Amusement-riding device 900820
928716 7/1909 Valentine Wheel coaster 928716
935239 9/1909 Schmidt Amusement device [ferris wheel variant] 935239
941209 11/1909 Sullivan Vertical roundabout 941209
1050567 1/1913 Saunders Rotary passenger carrier [ferris wheel] 1050567
1057919 4/1913 Biavati Observation car 1057919
1149513 8/1915 Hermann Amusement apparatus 1149513
1262687 4/1918 H. L. Miller/ Parker Portable amusement device 1262687
1354436 9/1920 Hermann/ Eccentric Ferris Wheel Amusement apparatus [Wonder Wheel] 1354436
1379454 5/1921 Lindamood Amusement device 1379454
1384750 7/1921 Gernsback Submersible amusement device 1384750
1418999 6/1922 Wilson Amusement device 1418999
1510355 9/1924 Tymkow Mechanical roundabout 1510355
1539094 5/1925 Miller Amusement structure 1539094
1555488 9/1925 Siebert Ferris wheel 1555488
1568424 1/1926 Smith Ferris wheel [Tobboggan Slide Ferris Wheel] 1568424
1599014 9/1926 Hunter Amusement device [passenger-powered ferris wheel] 1599014
1599075 9/1926 Burris Amusement wheel 1599075
1605198 11/1926 Ashcroft Amusement apparatus 1605198
1718167 7/1929 McLaughlin Amusement apparatus [multiple ferris wheels on one axis] 1718167
1737032 11/1929 Sellner Amusement ride [Swooper] 1737032
1867996 7/1932 Baer Portable ferris wheel 1867996
1911915 5/1933 McLaughlin Amusement apparatus 1911915
2082287 6/1937 Hermann Amusement device 2082287
2109539 3/1938 Kornsweet Amusement device 2109539
2201993 5/1940 Dyke Amusement ride [ferris wheel with illusion] 2201993
2203971 6/1940 Shepherd Amusement device 2203971
2229966 1/1941 Eyerly Amusement machine 2229966
2249076 7/1941 Courtney/ Velare & Courtney Amusement apparatus [Sky Wheel] 2249076
2384237 9/1945 Clark Amusement machine 2384237
2397857 4/1946 Hall Amusement device 2397857
2403593 7/1946 Franklin Amusement device [passenger powered] 2403593
2423283 7/1947 Austin Amusement device 2423283
2576477 11/1951 Powell Ferris wheel 2576477
2590934 4/1952 Catlett Portable ferris wheel 2590934
2689126 9/1954 Eyerly Gear-driven control for ferris wheel cars [Rock-O-Plane] 2689126
2800328 7/1957 Courtney Plural horizontal axes roundabout [Sky Wheel improvement] 2800328
2828128 3/1958 Castille Amusement ride device 2828128
2847216 8/1958 Courtney Amusement ride apparatus 2847216
2864614 12/1958 Castille Ferris wheel type amusement ride 2864614
2907568 10/1959 Velare & Velare Portable ferris wheels [Double Sky Wheel or Space Wheel] 2907568
2934341 4/1960 Shepherd Passenger amusement ride 2934341
3002753 10/1961 Garbrick Foldable and portable ferris wheel 3002753
3176983 4/1965 Barber Amusement ride [Raven or Radar] 3176983
3222061 12/1965 Eyerly & Johnson/ Eyerly Portable Amusement ride 3222061
3226113 12/1965 Mercer et al Collapsible wheel structure for rotary amusement devices 3226113
3243184 3/1966 Robinson et al Planetary amusement ride 3243184
3321203 5/1967 Hansen Automatically controlled amusement ride [requiring no attendant] 3321203
3456943 7/1969 Brown/ Chance Amusement ride apparatus and method [Skydiver] 3456943
3495823 2/1970 Barber Amusement ride [Turbo] 3495823
3529816 9/1970 Barber Vehicle, especially for an amusement ride or the like [Turbo] 3529816
3552747 1/1971 Deem/ Eli Bridge Portable folding ferris wheel 3552747
3612517 10/1971 Schwarzkopf Ferris wheel 3612517
3707282 12/1972 Robinson Planetary amusement ride 3707282
3837706 9/1974 Suttles/ Eli Bridge Amusement ride seat and safety guard [hair guard for ferris wheel] 3837706
4815728 3/1989 O'Keefe Amusement ride 4815728
4960275 10/1990 Magon Water immersion amusement apparatus [ferris wheel] 4960275
4988089 1/1991 Knijpstra Fairground attraction 4988089
5319897 6/1994 Royer Amusement park ride 5319897
D400616 11/1998 Gnezdilov Panoramic wheel D400616
6328658 12/2001 Gnezdilov Amusement ride [Sky Restaurant] 6328658
6402624 6/2002 Larson & Novatny/ Versa Amusement ride without hubs and spokes [Cyclotron or floorless Super Loops; also floorless coaster and hubless ferris wheel] 6402624
6634952 10/2003 Kroon & Kroon/ Cobra Beheer Ferris wheel [construction for large portable wheel]
[application 2003/0162596]
6634952
6994629 2/2006 Bussink Attraction [Giant Motion Track (hubless ferris wheel)]
[application 2005/0113178]
6994629
7854661 12/2010 Chu Giant wheel
[application 2010/0004067]
7854661
7931539 4/2011 Chen Elevating mechanism and Ferris wheel using the same
[application 2010/0234119]
7931539
7988562 8/2011 Kojiro Midair and pseudo-underwater observation apparatus
[application 2010/0105491]
7988562
8216077 7/2012 Bussink et al Observation wheel type ride
[application 2011/0207539]
8216077
8337317 12/2012 Crawford & Nemeth/ Disney Free swing Ferris wheel
[application 2012/0071251]
8337317

Patent Applications

application number publication date inventor/ assignee document title [comment]
2002/0042303 4/2002 Larson & Novatny/ Versa Amusement ride without hubs and spokes [Cyclotron or floorless Super Loops; also floorless coaster and hubless ferris wheel]
2007/0238536 10/2007 Smits Ferris wheel
2009/0075740 3/2009 Kojiro Underwater and midair observation apparatus
2009/0320712 12/2009 McMahon & Maddox Amusement ride
2012/0260816 10/2012 Vittoz & Desflammes/ Sigma Composite Mobile unit and installation for transportation of at least one passenger
2012/0277008 11/2012 Kitchen & Silberman Stationary track with gimbaled rider carriages amusement ride
2013/0023350 1/2013 Morand et al/ Sigma Composite Mobile cabin and subset for the reception and the transport of at least one passenger, and recreational facility using the same
2013/0029773 1/2013 Kitchen Narrow base viewing wheel
2013/0095936 4/2013 Gnezdilov Observation wheel [with sparsely clustered passenger carriers]

Last revised 16-May-2013

return to patent home