24 results for “Dill Pickle Club”

Step High, Stoop Low, Leave Your Dignity Outside: Entrance to the Dill Pickle Club, 18 Tooker Alley

Among Chicago's most unusual contributions to the culture of modern urban life was the Dill Pickle Club, located at 18 Tooker Alley just east of Bughouse Square. Operating as a coffeehouse, art gallery, and speakeasy, “The Pickle” welcomed hoboes, prostitutes, professors, and every variety of nonconformist passing through Chicago. The club hosted weekend jazz dance parties and little theater productions of Strindberg, Ibsen, O'Neill, and local playwrights. It hosted serious lectures by university professors and spoof debates staged for pure entertainment. In its early years, the Pickle was a meeting place for some of Chicago's most famous authors, intellectuals, and radicals, including Carl Sandburg, Sherwood Anderson, Floyd Dell, Clarence Darrow, Ben Reitman, Lucy Parsons, Ralph Chaplin, Ben Hecht, Harriet Monroe, and Vachel Lindsay.

Date
ca. 1920-1930
Subjects
Amusements
Dill Pickle Club
Places
Chicago (Ill.)
Dill Pickle Tea Room

This advertisement from the Dill Pickle Club suggests some of the appeal of bohemian night spots: conversation, special parties, and “atmosphere.”

Date
ca. 1928
Subjects
Advertising
Amusements
Dill Pickle Club
Places
Chicago (Ill.)
Advertisement for a lecture by Dr. Magnus Hirshfeld, Chicago, 1931.

Magnus Hirschfeld, an openly gay German physician, was a long-time advocate of human rights for sexual minorities. He founded the Scientific Humanitarian Committee in 1897 to advocate for the decriminalization of homosexuality in Germany and the World League for Sexual Reform on a Scientific Basis in 1928. Hirschfeld's lecture at Chicago's Dill Pickle Club in 1931 was said to have drawn an audience of over 300.

Creator
Dill Pickle Club
Date
1931
Subjects
Advertising
Gender and society
Homosexuality
Places
Chicago (Ill.)
Is Free Love Possible?

An advertisement for a debate on free love at the Dill Pickle Club.

Date
1930
Subjects
Advertisements
Amusements
Dill Pickle Club
Education
Gender and society
Places
Chicago, Illinois
Will Amazonic Women Usurp Man's Sphere?

An advertisement for a lecture at Chicago's Dill Pickle Club, printed on the reverse of an advertisement for a lecture by Magnus Hirschfeld. Little is known about the speaker, Elizabeth Davis, who appears to have been part of the bohemian community on Chicago's north side.

Creator
Dill Pickle Club
Date
1931
Subjects
Dill Pickle Club
Gender and society
homosexuality
Places
Chicago (Ill.)
St. Patrick's Costume Ball

This flyer from Chicago's Dill Pickle Club announces a costume ball on St. Patrick's Day, 1925. Oral histories suggest that masquerade balls at this and other clubs were an important part of the early community of gay men and lesbians in Chicago. Under cover of the party, women could dress as men and men as women. With so many people cross-dressing, few took notice of same sex couples. Although the Dill Pickle Club closed early in the 1930s, citywide Halloween Balls continued to be meeting places for gay men and lesbians into the 1940s.

Date
1925
Subjects
Amusements
Dill Pickle Club
Homosexuality
Places
Chicago (Ill.)
A Night in Bohemia: Dill Pickle Masked Ball

Among the most popular Dill Pickle Club events were its frequent masquerade balls. These events appealed to a broad range of partygoers, allowing wealthy residents of the Gold Coast to mingle in relative anonymity with working people and artists. Masquerade balls also attracted gay men and women. Under cover of the party, women could dress as men and men as women. With so many people cross-dressing, few took notice of same sex couples. Although the Dill Pickle Club closed early in the 1930s, citywide Halloween Balls continued to be meeting places for gay men and women into the 1940s.

Date
1916
Subjects
Amusements
Dill Pickle Club
Gender and society
Places
Chicago (Ill.)
Chicago's Interracial Debating Classic, January 25, 1931

Before the advent of television, lectures and debates provided public entertainment. Social activists used these venues to present their ideas and to educate their constituencies. This flyer promotes a debate involving A. Philip Randolph and Chandler Owen, both leaders of the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters (BSCP), as optimists, and Ben Reitman and David Tullman, both white radicals associated with the Dill Pickle Club, as pessimists. Although the exact topic of the debate is unclear, both sides supported unionization as well as racial integration. In 1931, the BSCP was engaged in a campaign to gain formal recognition as the union of African American porters and maids who worked on Pullman sleeping cars.

Date
1931
Subjects
Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters
Dill Pickle Club
Education
Labor
Places
Chicago (Ill.)
People
Randolph, A. Phillip
Reitman, Ben
Sherwood Anderson, "Jack Jones--The Pickler."

In this article from the Chicago Daily News, the novelist Sherwood Anderson describes the diverse audience at the Dill Pickle Club: “The street car conductor sits on a bench beside the college professor, the literary critic, the earnest young wife, who hungers for culture, and the hobo.”

Creator
Sherwood Anderson
Date
1919
Subjects
Amusements
Dill Pickle Club
Literature
Places
Chicago, Illinois
The Season in Full Swing at the Dill Pickles

An advertisement for a week of events at Chicago's Dill Pickle Club suggests the eclectic mix of radicalism and ribaldry typical of the club. During the fall of 1930 Mae West's melodrama “Sex” played at Chicago's Garrick Theater promising audiences “55 people” on stage and “555 Thrills.” Earlier in the year, West became an unlikely icon of free speech when she prevailed over New York City prosecutors who accused her of producing obscene plays. Hypolite Havel was an anarchist intellectual and former associate of Emma Goldman. Ralph Chaplin was an editor and illustrator for the Industrial Workers of the World and the author of the labor anthem “Solidarity Forever.”

Date
1930
Subjects
Amusements
Dill Pickle Club
Gender and society
Places
Chicago (Ill.)