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Location: 30 Washington
The photograph gallery of Charles D. Mosher, whose collections of portraits of well known Chicagoans, is the second building from the right. The first complete building is the Giles Brothers Jewelry store.
In 1876, as his contribution to celebrating the country’s hundredth birthday, Charles D. Mosher devised a plan to get more business. He offered a special bicentennial package where a person can get their photograph taken and it will be preserved in a special monument only to be opened on the country’s bicentennial in 1976.
The memorial pictures, stored in a large trunk, were moved to the new City Hall in 1911. After an unauthorized search the trunk was discovered by a clerk in 1915 and moved again to Municipal Reference Library and then after the City Council resolved that the photographs were of “no use or value while in the vault” of City Hall were sent to the Chicago Historical Society. The CHS did display the photographs in a 1976 exhibit.
Photographer: Copelin and Melander
Location: Lake Street, between Clark and LaSalle Streets
Chicago Examiner August 12, 1908
CITY VAULT SEALED 32 YEARS REOPENED
Mosher Memorial Will Be Transferred to the New Municipal Building,
Photographs of several hundred pioneer Chicago business and professional men, together with a number of women who also were prominent in the city in the early days, were removed yesterday from the Mosher memorial vaultIn the old City Hall to a temporary vault in the present municipal building. They will be transferred to larger quarters when the new City Hall is completed, and all that will remain of the old vault will be the door, on which is the inscription telling of its mission.
The contents of the vault are to be displayed to public gaze in 1976, the occasion of the second centennial of the country’s independence. It was presented to Chicago on the occasion of the first centennial thitty-two years ago.
C. D. Mosher, who wns a prominent photographer of Chicago In the early days, presented the vault and the collection of photographs. Most of them were in sealed packages. Those that were not sealed were in albums and contained short biographies of the originals. In all there were nearly 2,000 pictures.
Commissioner of Public Works. John J. Hanberg and his deputy, Paul Redieske, directed the removal of the pictures. A crowd of curiosity seekers watched the trausfer of the souvenirs after E. William Prestien, a safe expert, had removed the combination. The albums were passed around for Inspection.
Mrs. Louis S. Mosher, a cousin of the donor of the collection, was present in the hope that she would be able to see a photograph of her mother. She was disappointed in her quest.
The door of the vault bore the inscription:
MOSHER’S MEMORIAL SAFETY VAULT.
Photographs of Prominent Men and Women, With Memoirs and Statistics. Deeded to the City of Chicago as an Offering and Souvenir for the Second Centennial, 1976.
DIEBOLD SAFE & LOCK CO., CANTON,O.
It was surmounted by two clasped hands dated 1876 and 1976.
Samples of Mosher’s Cabinet Cards