All 255 items

Farm woman gathering eggs

Although tending poultry was considered “women's work” on midwestern farms, it was a profitable enterprise that brought in much needed cash for farm families.

Creator
Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad Company
Date
ca. 1949
Subjects
Agriculture
Farming
Gender and society
Places
Illinois
March of the Caravan

The author and engraver described the view of a caravan passing along the Santa Fe trail in what is now New Mexico: “As the caravan was passing under the northern base of the Round Mound, it presented a very fine and imposing spectacle to those who were upon its summit. The wagons marched slowly in four parallel columns, but in broken lines, often at intervals of many rods between them.” (pp. 101-102)

Creator
Gregg, Josiah, 1806-1850
Date
1844
Subjects
Emigration and immigration
Indians of North America
Places
Great Plains
Scene of Destruction and Pillage in the Panhandle Yards

Chicago was relatively peaceful during the early weeks of the American Railway Union's boycott of Pullman sleeping cars. Major violence erupted only after a federal court ordered the arrest of Eugene Debs and other union leaders on charges that they had violated the Sherman Anti-Trust Act. Ironically, the law was intended to limit the power of large corporations. When federal troops arrived in early July to enforce the court's order, several working-class neighborhoods erupted in violence. Soon after, the boycott was crushed. This clipping from the Chicago Herald recounts the turmoil as workers, especially women, took to the streets to prevent trains from leaving the stockyards.

Date
July 8, 1894
Subjects
American Railway Union
Boycotts
Labor
Pullman Strike, 1894
Strikes and lockouts
Places
Chicago (Ill.)
Pullman (Chicago, Ill.)
Speech of John Hossack on the Fugitive Slave Law

The Fugitive Slave Law of 1850 required the federal government to assist with retrieving runaway slaves even in free states like Illinois. In an act of civil disobedience, businessman John Hossack and seven others helped a runaway slave named Jim Grey escape from federal custody just as he was about to be sent back South. Convicted in a Chicago court, Hossack paid a $100 fine and spent ten days in jail, although he was released each day to dine with Chicago officials and prominent citizens. In his strongly worded defense, Hossack argued, “the parties who prostituted the constitution to the support of slavery, are traitors.”

Creator
Hossack, John
Date
1860
Subjects
Law
Slavery
Cleaning the Vista Dome Car

A worker empties trash from a rail road dining car, 1949. Two workers are visible inside the car. Most railroad work was racially segregated into the 1950s with African Americans largely restricted to service jobs such as porters, cooks, and cleaners.

Creator
Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad Company
Date
ca. 1949
Subjects
Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad Company
Labor
Railroads
Places
Chicago (Ill.)
The Liberty Bond Mutual Benefit Association-The Money is Mostly Spent at Home

The U.S. entered Europe's Great War in 1917 as a deeply divided nation. To rally the country to the cause of war, the federal government launched a massive public relations effort drawing on the most talented communicators in business, journalism, and government. In this advertisement from the Chicago Tribune of October 1917, popular cartoonist John T. McCutcheon encourages Americans to support the war effort by purchasing government bonds. With the letters US in the background, a circle of men representing different occupations is united by Liberty Bonds. The poster suggests that only un-American outsiders would refuse to support the bond drive.

Creator
McCutcheon, John T. (John Tinney), 1870-1949
Date
1917
Subjects
World War I
Chicago lakefront

This image was taken from an elevated position on the west side of Michigan Avenue overlooking Grant Park in Chicago. Docked along the shore are ferries to the World's Fair several miles to the south. Men and women sit on park benches in the foreground.

Creator
United States Army Corps of Engineers
Date
1893
Subjects
World's Columbian Exposition
Places
Chicago (Ill.)
Lake Michigan
View North From Colonnade, 1893 World's Fair

A leading photographer of the American West, Jackson made the official set of views for the Exposition.

Creator
Jackson, William Henry, 1843-1942
Date
1895
Subjects
World's Columbian Exposition
Places
Chicago (Ill.)
Views of the Big Blue, South of Seward, Nebraska

Appearing in a guide for potential settlers, “How to Go West,” these images of rolling prairie in eastern Nebraska suggest both prosperous farms and open land for newcomers. Railroads crossing the Great Plains often advertised the availability of good land in areas served by their lines.

Date
1872
Subjects
Advertisement
Agriculture
Railroads
Places
Great Plains
Nebraska
Liberty Line

Reproduced in a 1904 history of the Underground Railroad, this advertisement from an abolitionist periodical of 1844 offers free travel to Canada for those “who may wish to improve their health and circumstances.” The “Liberty Line” was not a real railroad, but a network of sympathetic northerners who helped escaped slaves flee to Canada were slavery had been abolished.

Date
1904
Subjects
Canada
Emancipation
Slavery
Underground Railroad