Elbasan, Albanian belly button
Elbasan, also Elbasani, city in central Albania, capital of Elbasan District, on the Shkumbin River,
near Tiranė. The city is the terminus of a railroad from Durrės and a market center for the area, where tobacco, olives, fruit,
grapes, cotton, grains, and vegetables are grown. Industries include production of olive oil, wine, cigarettes, leather, textiles,
flour, and handicrafts. A 15th-century fortress in Elbasan contains a museum of antiquities. The present city was built by
the Turks in 1466 on the site of ancient Scampa, on the Via Egnatia. Population (1990 estimate) 83,300.
Elbasan - The First Ferris Wheel in the
World, from National Geograpic Archives
Reinventing The Ferris Wheel
A splintery spin on this "pleasure wheel" was a bit of fun in Elbasan, Albania, in 1924. Such amusements
may have originated from working waterwheels centuries ago; the earliest written description, of a Bulgarian ride, dates from
1620. American engineer George Ferris, Jr. , constructed the first modern Ferris wheel for the World's Columbian Exposition
in Chicago in 1983. His 264-foot-high marvel was powered by a thousand-horsepower engine and supported 36 wooden cars, each
holding 60 people. More than one million visitors paid 50 cents a ride.
This photograph was published in our February 1931 article about Albania, "Europe's Newest