Archive for the ‘History’ Category

Heads of State

Aug
23

PULL

The throne and the British throne have been linked for centuries. From John Harington’s associations with Queen Elizabeth and flush toilets to Thomas Crapper’s lavatory attendance to Edward VII, muckety-mucks mingled with muck.

John Harington raised Queen Elizabeth’s hackles. She …

Steampunk Graveyard Stroll

Aug
18

eternal silence

The Smiths sang, “A dreaded sunny day, so let’s go where we’re wanted and I meet you at the cemetery gates.” Steampunks, let’s meet at Graceland Cemetery and go strolling. We will meet up on Sunday August 21 at 12 …

Whitechapel Club Torches Corpse

Jul
19

Whitechapel Club

On July 16, 1892, the Whitechapel Club cremated the body of Morris Allen Collins on a pyre along the shore of Lake Michigan. Collins willed his body to Chicago’s secretive society. They sang, recited poetry, and made the ashes part …

Joseph Smith Killed by Mob

Jun
21

death-of-joseph-smith

Joseph Smith was no friend of johnny law. He faced accusations of a fortune hunting con in New York in 1826, being a disorderly person in New York in 1830, conspiracy to commit murder in Ohio in 1837, bank fraud …

Debra Ann Miller: Historical Actor

Jun
14

Deb

Debra Ann Miller goes beyond historical costuming. She has made a living by portraying historical figures. She kindly took the time to answer a few of our questions.

You’ve performed as Mary Todd Lincoln, Jane Austen, Louisa May Alcott and

The World’s Greatest Weekly and The Great Migration

May
10

746px-ChicagoDefender

On May 6, 1905, Robert Sengstacke Abbott published the first issue of the self-professed World’s Greatest Weekly, The Chicago Defender. Although Abbott originally cobbled it together from other newspaper articles and sold it door to door, the circulation would …

The Disastrous Pocket Watch

Apr
19

Pocket Watch

On April 19, 1891, the No. 14 fast mail train crashed into the No. 21 Toledo express outside of Kipton, OH. The Great Kipton Train Wreck hinged on a conductor’s pocket watch.

If you were westbound through Ohio from Cleveland …

The Suppression of Vice

Mar
01

Vice

Some people just can’t mind their own business. American prude Anthony Comstock sought to curb the flow of post-Civil War pornography. The Comstock Law, passed on March 3, 1873, forbade obscene material to be distributed through the U.S. Post Office. …

Van Gogh’s Bedrooms

Feb
23

bedroom_arles

Vincent Van Gogh painted three versions of Bedroom in Arles. The Art Institute of Chicago shows all three for the first time in North America. The exhibit runs February 14 – May 10, 2016.

Inspired by a malady that …

A Funeral for The Alley

Jan
12

Alley shirt

The Alley has supplied Chicago land with dark couture for almost forty years. It has been a mainstay of punks, goths, freaks, geeks, poseurs, and devotees of unpopular culture. Owner Mark Thomas closes shop on January 19, but not before …