Chicagology was created on March 17, 2003
Chicagology (pronounced shə-kä-goh-OL-luh-jee) is a study of Chicago history with a focus on the period prior to the Second World War. The purpose of the site is to document common and not so common stories about the City of Chicago as they are discovered. It is not intended to be a nostalgia site nor to collect info in order to promote services or products of any kind.
Research is a never-ending journey of discovery. Information posted here is constantly being revised with either additional or corrected information. Therefore, the site is in a constant growth and change state. However, browsing through Chicagology is like flipping the pages of a book. You can visit any section or page at random, yet have no difficulty in knowing where you are.
I hope that you enjoy your visit and welcome any input that you want to offer—good or bad. The intent is to provide each visitor with a pleasant ad-free experience and to ignite a flame that discovering history is just as exciting as living it.
1850-1871 Pre-Fire Chicago – A large collection of photographs to recreate a vision of what the city looked like at this time.
1871 Building Directory
1858 Lincoln-Douglas Debates
1867 Guide for Travelers to Chicago
Chicago Illustrated – The complete collection of engravings and descriptions of 1865 Chicago from the rare 13 volume series published in the Chicago Illustrated portfolios.
Whitefield’s Views of Chicago –
The Chicago Magazine – A short-lived publication about Chicago that was published in 1857.
Chicago in 1868
Raising of Chicago
Banks of Chicago – A listing of all the banking establishments before the Great Fire
Chicago’s First Wedding
Chicago as a Hunting Post
1871 Chicago Fire – A section devoted to the cause and aftermath of the Great Fire.
1872-1879 Rebuilding of Chicago – A collection of the first buildings built after the Great Fire.
1874 Chicago Fire – The second great fire in Chicago occurred on July 14, 1874.
1880-1900 Golden Age of Chicago – A collection of the buildings that included the dawn of the skyscraper.
1893 World’s Fair – The biggest event of the 19th century was held in Chicago and the White City was born.
The Great Race of 1895
1896 Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show – A detailed description of this popular show that opened the first Coliseum on June 1, 1896.
1898-1901 Oliver Typewriter Catalog
1907 Chicago as a Piano Center
1908 Burlington Grain Elevator Fire
1908 A Trip Through Sears, Roebuck and Co
1909 Chicago Facts – A contemporary listing of Chicago’s accomplishments.
1909 Plan of Chicago – The Burnham Plan is an essay, principally authored by Daniel Burnham in 1909, entitled The Plan of Chicago. The essay was written in response to a request by the city’s social and business upper crust for a detailed city plan.
1909 Selfridge’s of London
1910 Chicago – Article that was originally published in the 1912 booklet by the Illinois Central Railroad, “Chicago and the Tourist.” Embellished with period photographs of downtown Chicago.
State Street in 1910 – Article published in the Chicago Examiner in 1910 about the booming department store industry on State Street.
1913 Night in Chicago
1931 Night in Chicago
1917 Flag of Chicago – A short history and the meaning of the official flag of Chicago
1921 Pageant of Progress
1922 Pageant of Progress
Chicago Sports in 1929
1930 Chicago Artists
1932 Chicago Architecture-Is It Beautiful?
1932 Randolph Street Development Proposal
1933 Century of Progress World’s Fair – The second World’s Fair held in Chicago celebrated her first hundred years.
1933 Aida – A special performance of Aida at Soldiers’ Field.
1937 Charter Day
1939 Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer
1940 The New Deal – Article from the Chicago Tribune detailing the buildings lost to the wrecking ball due to the 1933 New Deal.
Baseball – Take a trip to a bygone era where the Cubs were called the White Stockings and had to miss two seasons because a fire in 1871 destroyed their uniforms.
Bicycling – Before the automobile, the bicycle was the new mode of individual transportation and Chicago played a major role.
Biographical essays on some of the first pioneers of Chicago.
John H. Kinzie
Gordon Saltonstall Hubbard
W. D. Kerfoot
Charles D. Peacock
John T. Pirie
Mrs. Bertha Palmer Sr.
George M. Pullman
Breweries of Chicago
Camp Douglas – A Civil War prison of war camp that at one time was the setting of an event that could have changed the outcome of the war.
Central Manufacturing District – The story of the first planned manufacturing district in the United States.
Cemeteries – Chicago is the home to four of the oldest cemeteries in a large city.
Chicago Name Origins
Origins of the Windy City
Chicago Streets – Articles about the street numbering logic as well as who her early streets were named after and why.
1905-1936 Automobile Row
1904 Automobile Show
1908 Automobile Show
1909 Automobile Show
1910 Automobile Show
1911 Automobile Show
1914 Automobile Show
1916 Automobile Show
1929 Automobile Show
1932 Automobile Show
1946 Tucker Automobile
Chicago Courthouses – A brief history of the seven Chicago courthouses.
Chicago Fire Department – A brief history of the Chicago Fire Department.
Chicago Golf Club – A brief history of the one of the most important golf clubs in the United States
Chicago Harbor – Articles pertaining to the history of the harbors and life along the Chicago River.
City Hall V—1873-1874
City Hall VI—1886-1897
Chicago Public Library—1897-1991
Harold Washington Library—1991-Present
Chicago Libraries—A brief sketch of the libraries in Chicago written in 1895.
Chicago in Literature
Chicago Mayors 1835-2011
Chicago Park System
Chicago Newspapers – A complete family tree directory of all the Chicago Newspapers. Organized by each successive owner by date.
Chicago Tribune Tower Competition
Freedom of the Press Mural
History of the Tribune Presses
From Trees to Tribune
Tribune Tour No. 1—Seeing the News Room
Tribune Tour No. 2—Printing the Chicago Tribune
Chicago to Berlin on the Untin Bowler
War Films of Edwin Weigle
The Goodfellows’ Movement
First Color News Spot Picture
Tribunes 100th Anniversary
Chicago Police Department – A brief history of the Chicago Police Department plus several articles on the Chicago Police Department.
Chicago Post Office History
Chicago Public School System Early History
The Chicagoan – Covers of the short run The Chicagoan social magazine that was published in 1926
Corporate Chicago – Brief corporate histories of a few of the many large corporations that started in Chicago.
Jewel Tea Company
Kroch’s & Brentano’s
Marshall Field & Company
Rand McNally & Co.
R. R. Donnelley & Sons
SearsRoebuck & Co.
Western Electric Hawthorne
Fort Dearborn – The fort that started it all.
Irish in Chicago
Notorious Chicago – A collection of stories that made up Chicago’s notorious past.
Population & Ward Maps – A complete set of charts that indicate each ward’s boundaries during Chicago’s early years.
Raising Chicago – Article describing how the citizens of Chicago got its town out of the mud.
Seal of Chicago – A brief description of the Seal of Chicago.
Silent Movie and Radio Capital – Chicago was briefly the silent movie capital of the country.
Essanay Film Company
Selig Polyscope Company
Bell & Howell Model 2709 Motion Picture Camera
The Goodfellows’ Christmas Eve
Balaban & Katz’s Movie Palaces
The Adventures of Kathlyn
War Films of Edwin Weigle
At Old Fort Dearborn & Pioneer Days
Electrical Show of Chicago
Chicago Movie Film Firsts
Wilding Picture Productions
Burton Holmes Films, Inc.
In Old Chicago
Radio Growth in Chicago
Zenith Radio Corporation
Sporting Goods Capital — With names like Spalding, Wilson, Brunswick, Schwinn, and Kiefer, Chicago has been home to many of the most recognizable brands in sporting goods manufacturing.
Tallest Buildings — Tables that show the history of the tallest buildings in the United States and Chicago
Theatres of Chicago — A comprehensive list of the the theatres and music houses that existed in pre-1900 Chicagp.
Civic Opera House – A description of the new Civic Opera House written at the time of its opening in 1929.
Civic Opera’s First Season, 1922-23
Chicago Symphony Orchestra — A short history on the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Orchestra Hall, written in 1929 by CSO conductor Frederk Stock.
The Mikado in Chicago
Union Stock Yards—History of the Union Stock Yards.
Union Stock Yards—Description of the new stock yards as published in Chicago Illustrated, September, 1866
Hough House (Transient House)—Description of the Hough House Hotel as published in Chicago Illustrated, September, 1866
A Day at the Union Stockyard—An article that was published in the July 1907 issue of “Chicago The Great Central Market Magazine.” It was possibly written as a PR piece to combat Upton Sinclair’s exposé “The Jungle,” which was published as a book on February 26, 1906.
1910 Union Stock Yards Fire.
1934 Union Stock Yards Fire.