When did the the Ferris wheel become popular and why?

In 1892 William Somers had three 50 ft. wooden wheels entertaining visitors to Asbury Park, Atlantic City NJ and Coney Island NY. George Ferris Jr rode on one of Somer's "roundabouts" and had his own idea's.
The wheel built by George Ferris Jr. for the Chicago Columbian Exposition in 1893 was larger (264 ft), and more advanced. Large wheels built as early as the 17th century were called "pleasure wheels" or "great wheels" built purely for the joy and thrill of it. Ferris' wheel was originally called the "Chicago wheel".