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The City
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm currently in the early phases of reading City of the Century, and while I really enjoy reading it, the book has very little in the form of pictures.

I'm trying to imagine how the city looked in those early decades.

Can anybody direct me to where I can find some images of the city from that time period? Also, feel free to post images here if you have any. Thanks in advance.
 

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Chicago: Growth of a Metropolis is probably the single best Chicago history book and includes a number of pre-Fire photos, including a 360-degree panorama taken from the courthouse tower. In the hardback editions, it's a foldout.

David Lowe's Lost Chicago has a number of pre-Fire photos, as does the Wendt & Kogan book Chicago: A Pictorial History. About a dozen beautifully reproduced images, including birds-eye views of downtown (probably the same courthouse views), are in the recent book Historic Photos of Chicago.

A fellow named David Phillips of Chicago Architectural Photographing Company has some other huge collections that are, unfortunately, mostly unseen and unpublished. I don't remember whether he has many pre-Fire images, but he has some incredible images of the ruins taken just a few days later. I hope he will someday agree to their publication.
 

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Chicago: Growth of a Metropolis is probably the single best Chicago history book and includes a number of pre-Fire photos, including a 360-degree panorama taken from the courthouse tower. In the hardback editions, it's a foldout.
I second this one. Great book with some great pictures.
 

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The City
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Chicago: Growth of a Metropolis is probably the single best Chicago history book and includes a number of pre-Fire photos, including a 360-degree panorama taken from the courthouse tower. In the hardback editions, it's a foldout.
^ Then I'll read that next.

For now, I'm enjoying City of the Century. Late 19th century Chicago seems to have been just one hell of a place worth seeing in person. Wish I had a time machine.

Saw mills along the Chicago river? Grain elevators downtown? Steam engine trains all over the place, an Irish vice district at what is now N. Michigan Avenue? What a different world it must have been..
 

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To get some insight into the sights and sounds and smells of everyday Chicago back then, I recommend Perry Duis's Challenging Chicago.
 

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I've been reading an amazing volume, "Chicago and its Makers, A Narrative of Events 1833-1926" Felix Mendelsohn 1929. Over 400 photos of old Chicago. This book is big and is difficult to scan... but here's a few including a letter & pamphlet intended to promote the book at its publishing in 1929.











 

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This link has some very old photos

http://www3.timeoutny.com/chicago/b...e+Out+Chicago+Blog)&utm_content=Google+Reader

The Lost Panoramas: Chicago and the Illinois Valley a Century Ago
By Madeline Nusser

In the late 1800s, the Metropolitan Sanitary District of Greater Chicago undertook an impressive engineering project to reverse the flow of the Chicago River. To document this feat, photographers surveyed the river system shooting more than 20,000 photos using six-by-eight-inch glass plate—a process that involved great precision so that multiple images aligned to create one continuous scene. A century later, author Michael Williams stumbled across the bulky negatives, buried in the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District archives. A sample of the collection—with text by Williams and Richard Cahan—is on display at the Notebaert Nature Museum. “The Lost Panoramas: Chicago and the Illinois Valley a Century Ago” features sweeping scenes of the riverbed and its state-of-the-art infrastructure and provides a fascinating view of a true city on the make.



Read more: http://chicago.timeout.com/articles...-ago-at-notebaert-nature-museum#ixzz1B8hiwqRU
 
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