Chicago's Greatest Year, 1893
Publication Year: 2013
Published by: Southern Illinois University Press
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List of Illustrations
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The year is 1893. Chicagoâs elite intends the Columbian Exposi-tion to make their young metropolis world famous. It does. That majestic fair becomes the most magnetic event in the cityâs history Chicago as glorious or startling, the crowds of fairgoers find the city unforgettable and recognize it as a force to be taken seriously.fered a dazzling display of vast neoclassical buildings laid out on a ...
1. The White City and the Gray City
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The Scottish writer James Fullarton Muirhead, author of the 1899 Baedekerâs guidebook to the United States, summed up Chicago as a âcity of contrasts.â He knew that many outsiders called Chicago âPorkopolisâ in reference to its slaughterhouses, opolis without a simultaneous reference to the fact that it was many marveled at the cityâs variations and disparities. The White ...
2. Three Museums and a Library
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Any city that wants to be taken seriously in the twenty-first century has to have at least one notable museum, either an modern style by an architect with a nameâor better yet, both. Itâs where locals go on a Sunday, itâs something that tourists civic-minded citizens were anxious to shed their cityâs image as lenge New York for urban supremacy, they had better have a large ...
3. Sears, Roebuck and Company
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A huge city like Chicago affects many more people than the ones who live in or near it. For example, Chicagoâs aggressive and efficient meat packers transformed the High Plains prairies into cattle country, induced farmers to turn millions of acres over to the raising of corn for feeding animals, and put independent cattle raisers in the East out of business. Another profound effect ...
4. Frances Willard’s Bicycle
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When youâre a fifty-three-year-old woman in 1893, youâre ready for the rocking chair. Or so many people thought at the she was going to perch on a different kind of seatâthe saddle throatâa condition that soon made it difficult for her to eat. stairs. Willardâs mother had died less than a year before, and paradise. âMy thoughts are greatly on the future life,â she wrote.1...
5. Open-Heart Surgery
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After the Fourth of July in 1893, the weather in Chicago turned oppressive. The temperature reached ninety-four at five in the afternoon on July 8, the hottest day yet of that year. A po-liceman riding a streetcar was hit by sunstroke and fell from the Tribune noted that because of the heat, ânearly everything in the social world was at a standstill, and almost no entertainments, ...
6. A Church for Father Tolton
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From Italy they came. From Ireland, Poland, and Slovakia. From Bohemia, Lithuania, Croatia, Slovenia, Austria, French olics, and they were dramatically altering Chicago, changing it for the Catholic population. For one, the âEdwards Lawâ was repealed. This 1889 legislation stipulated that instruction in all grant parents feared that the law meant that the Protestant-dom-...
7. The Illinois Institute of Technology
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When the light is right, its russet bricks gleam as you make your way along the Dan Ryan Expressway near Thirty-Third ily rusticated walls. The creation of architects Normand Patton and Reynolds Fisher, this proud structure was the Main Building said, âHe had a kingly presence, and came to his ceaseless tasks confessedly dominant in build, demeanor, gesture, and voice.â2 ...
8. The Birth of Urban Literature
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The February 1893 issue of the New England Magazine car-ried an article entitled âLiterary Chicago.â Written by Wil-growth of the literary spirit.â However, of the three dozen or so writers the author listed as examples of Chicagoâs literary the future would be bright: âChicago is still mewing her mighty of literature is but the merest foretaste of what the future may ...
9. The West Side Grounds
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What was the best baseball team of all time? The 1927 Yan-kees, with Ruth, Gehrig, Lazzeri, and Meusel? Or one of Cincinnatiâs Big Red Machines of the early 1970s, with Johnny Well, as Casey Stengel used to say, âYou could look it up.â None of these teams holds the record for the best single season in baseball history. Or the best three consecutive seasons. Or the ...
10. The Chicago Hot Dog
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The words âiconâ and âiconicâ are easily thrown about, but if anything deserves such language itâs the hot dog. Although gether in the Good âOle USA.â And nowhere is a hot dog more Itâs easy to find out when the first Chevrolet appeared (1911), ball, as discussed in the previous chapter, was invented in and favorite fast foods (pizza, âFrenchâ fries, tacos, and hamburg-...
11. Wrigley’s Gum
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Although William Wrigley, who began selling Spearmint and Juicy Fruit in 1893, became the most famous name as-chewed birch bark tar at a Neolithic site in southern Germany). sand-year-old gob of honey-sweetened resin that contained tooth ancient Greeks chewed on a substance called mastic or mastiche, latex of the sapodilla tree (Manilkara zapota), a substance known ...
12. The Chicago School of Architecture
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On the very first day of 1893, the Chicago Tribune published an article titled âChicagoâs Great Buildings,â in which it proudly and 1891 was equaled if not outclassed by that of the year just in the tall office buildings has been greater than the supply.â buildings it listed as being either completed or in the course of phenomenal.â1 At the time of the Great Fire of 1871, there were ...
13. Reforming Chicago
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Anyone curious to see how much a city can change in a century can walk down South Federal Street just south of the Loop in Chicago. Itâs in the heart of whatâs now known as Printers commercial district into one of Chicagoâs hotter neighborhoods. storefronts, although it is distinguished by the Printers Square and it was probably the most scandalous red-light district in the ...
14. Epidemics and Clean Water
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Chicago suffered its first epidemic before it even was Chicago. In 1832, a year before the state legislature incorporated the tiny settlement, a ship arriving at Fort Dearborn brought troops the villageâs three hundred inhabitants got out of town as fast intermittent) work in devising health policies and advising the but its labors took some time to bear fruit. By 1893, Chicago had ...
Epilogue: Chicago’s Next Great Year
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In its issue of April 19, 2010, Newsweek magazine published an article entitled â100 Places to Remember before They Disap-pear.â To the surprise of a lot of midwesterners, Chicago was one of those places. According to the piece, which pictured what might happen to the planet if climatologistsâ predictions of cli-mate change turned out to be accurate, Chicago âcould experience ...
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Page Count: 328
Illustrations: 90 b/w halftones
Publication Year: 2013