Archive for the ‘History’ Category

Dr. Mütter’s Marvels



A wunderkammer, or cabinet of curiosities, collects all sorts of unusual items. They may be objects d’art, memories or relics. These private collections of contemplation serve as the precursors for museums and freak shows. The College of Physicians of Philadelphia …

Edwardian Punks?



Retro-fashion as a lifestyle in Mid-Century Great Britain? It’s the Teddy Boys!

Like the American zoot suit subculture, the Teddy Boys developed in response to the austerity of WWII. The fashion industry looked back to the dandies of the Edwardian …

Steampunks Invade the White City



The Friends of the White City and the Jackson Park Advisory Council run free Columbian Exposition walking tours. Steampunk Chicago encourages you to join a tour on Saturday, September 20, 2014, from 11am to 1 pm.

The tour will cover:…

Pullman Strike Begets Labor Day


Pullman Shooting

Congress instituted the Labor Day holiday in 1894 to quell dissent brought on by that year’s nationwide Pullman Strike that began outside of Chicago. Industrialist George Pullman’s employees turned against conditions that he imposed, caused a national furor and led …

The Krakatoa Eruption


Krakatoa_eruption_lithograph (1)

On August 26, 1883, the volcanic island of Krakatoa began to erupt. It spewed enough dust and gas to affect weather worldwide for the next several years. Over 35,000 people died as a result. By the following day, two thirds …

Frank Lloyd Murder


taliesin_wreckOn August 15, 1914, Frank Lloyd Wright’s mistress and her children were murdered in Wright’s love nest, Taliesin. The butler did it with fire, an axe, and acid.

The influential Prairie School architect fell in love with his Oak …

Good For What Ails You


Old Time Heroin

On August 10, 1897 chemist Felix Hoffmann developed a stable form of acetylsalicylic acid. Studies investigated the efficacy of the chemical that could be used for pain relief, as an anti-inflammatory agent and to reduce fever. It was released in …

Getting Everleighed: Then and Now


Everleigh_Club_-_Hallway_to_Entrance_02The Everleigh name evokes quality titillation in Chicago. The Everleigh Sisters opened their high-end brothel in February 1900; Miss Exotic World Michelle L’amour opened the burlesque salon the Everleigh Social Club in November 2010. Vice rarely appears as refined as …

The Independent District of Streeterville


George Wellington -Cap- Streeter“Cap” Streeter’s steamboat Reutan ran into a sandbar 450 feet off of Chicago’s near north shore on July 10, 1886. Turning misfortune into opportunity, he claimed the area as the independent United States District of Lake Michigan. He filled the …

Alice: Born on the 4th of July


TeaInstead of lighting fireworks this 4th of July, why not follow the rabbit hole down Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland? On July 4, 1862, Lewis Carroll first told the tale.

Lewis Carroll was the pen name of Charles Lutwidge …