George Washingotn Gale Ferris Jr. was born February 14, 1859 in Galesburg and he died November 22, 1896 in Pittsburgh. He was a bridge-builder who graduated from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. His career started in the railroad industry and later he developed interest in building bridges. He founded G.W.G. Ferris & Co. in Pittsburgh which inspected and tested metals for building bridges and railroads.
He designed and built the Ferris wheel (it is named after him) in 1893 for the World´s Columbian Expostion as a rival to the Eiffel Tower.