Chicago Fire | Equipment | Aftermath | Damage | South Division | North Division | Gallery
This Gallery consists of contemporary images of that fateful weekend of the Great Chicago Fire.
The Waud Drawings
Alfred R. Waud (1828-91) was born in London, where his work as a theatrical scene painter prepared him for his career as one of the most productive illustrators of American life in the late nineteenth century for the new mass circulation magazines. Waud came to the United States while in his twenties, and, after a brief period with the New York Illustrated News, he spent most of his career working for Harper’s Weekly, in whose pages he established his reputation as the period’s most prolific Civil War illustrator. After the war his subjects included the South under Reconstruction and Native Americans in the West. He was on assignment in St. Louis for Every Saturday magazine when he heard the news of the Chicago fire, and he quickly caught a train to the burning city. Several illustrations based on Waud’s thirty-one drawings soon appeared in Every Saturday.
Trying to Save a Wagonload of Goods
Fleeing from the Burning City
Scene on the Prairie, Monday Night
Looking from the Lake near the River
West Side from Lake St. Bridge Chicago
Halt! Who Goes There?
Preaching at the Methodist Church
Harper’s Weekly (A Journal of Civilization) was an American political magazine based in New York. Published by Harper & Brothers from 1857 until 1916, it featured foreign and domestic news, fiction, essays on many subjects, and humor, alongside illustrations. It carried extensive coverage of the American Civil War, including many illustrations of events from the war.
Chicagology has transcribed three entire articles, Chicago in Ashes and Graphic Account by John R. Chapin appeared in the 28 October 1871 issue of Harper’s Weekly. The third article, Chicago in Ruins was from the 4 November 1871 issue.
The Ruined Churches in Chicago — 11 November 1871
The Ruins of Chicago — 11 November 1871
The Ruins of Chicago — 4 November 1871
Bird’s Eye View Before and During the Fire — 21 October 1871 & 28 October 1871
Chicago Fire Department — 19 December 1874
Homeless Citizens Taking Refuge From the Flames Among the Ruins — 1872
Jules Emile Saintin
Burnt District Map
Bird’s Eye Views of the Fire
Jex Bardwell’s Photographs of the Ruins
Views of the Burnt District
Chicago Panorama After the Fire
Chicago Fire Cyclorama
Cincinnati Soup House
Refugees Gathered at Menomonee and Wells
State House on Fire During the Great Chicago Fire
Erie Ferry in New York City
Chicago Fire Department
Homeless Citizens Taking Refuge
History of the Great Conflagration