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Neil Gale (Ph.D.)
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Photographs & History  - 
 
Vienna Sausage Manufacturing Company:
1. Horse drawn delivery wagon. 1908
2. Retired their horse drawn wagons for new motorized fleet. 1928
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Neil Gale (Ph.D.)
owner

Photographs & History  - 
 
The First 'Ferris' Wheel in Catlin, Illinois, Kills a Girl (1876).

The first Ferris wheel [1] ever exhibited made its appearance on the Old Catlin Fairgrounds in 1876. It was without power and was operated by men who pushed the cars around as they came to them. The directors of the fair were afraid the “contraption,” as they termed it, was unsafe and refused to give the owner permission to operate it on the fairgrounds.

The man who had charge of the wheel placed it just outside the fence which enclosed the fairground and on the first day an attempt was made to operate it --- it collapsed. One person, a young girl, was killed and several other persons were injured. The owner escaped by mounting a horse and riding swiftly away. He was never apprehended and escaped facing a charge of manslaughter.

[NOTE] The first fair was a one day event organized in 1850 and held on the site of the First Presbyterian Church. It was moved the third year to Butler’s Point [2], and continued there for 40 more years without profit.

Source: Danville Morning Press; Sunday, November 16, 1919, page 1 & 7.

[1] The author wrote this article in 1919 and uses the term "Ferris wheel" (aka: Observation Wheel), which was 1st coined at the Chicago World's Columbian Exposition in 1893, is for the benefit for the readers visualization.

[2] James Butler settled on land which lay just to the west of Catlin in 1819 and the area became known as Butler's Point. When a railway station was built where Catlin is now located, trade and residences drifted to the better facilities, and Butler's Point was lost in Catlin. This village was named Catlin on account of that being the name of one of officers of the Wabash railroad.

Special thanks to Molly Shoaf for providing the story details.
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Neil Gale (Ph.D.)
owner

Photographs & History  - 
 
Chicago Loop's Cowpath - since 1844.

One of the odder pieces of real estate in Chicago's Loop belongs not to the bulls, or the bears, but to the cows. Much of the Loop we know today was once part of the William or Willard Jones (depending on the source) farm. As the city expanded from its roots around Fort Dearborn (Michigan Avenue at Wacker) he sold off patches of his property to developers. Though this could have made him the city's first real estate mogul, he remained a farmer at heart and needed to make sure his cows has a place to graze. So in 1844 as part of one of his sales, the contract included an easement for cattle to pass from his farmstead to a pasture where the Chicago Board of Exchange was.

Jones kept one strip 10 feet wide, 177 feet long and 18 feet in hight to be used to take his cows from stable to pasture.  Of course, neither the farm nor the field exist today, but the cattle path does. In the early 20th century a court ruled that the easement is still legally binding, even though the cows have moved to greener pastures, and thus there are building in the Loop which are build astride, along, and even above this cow trail. The “cowpath” is located at 100 W. Monroe, Chicago. It’s behind black metal doors but not open to the public.
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Linda Hanson-Dorst's profile photoChris Carlson (Gunnar70)'s profile photoJean Miller's profile photoSteve Black's profile photo
 
What a great story! I'd never heard of this one and I love the photo identifying the location of the cow path!
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Neil Gale (Ph.D.)
owner

Photographs & History  - 
 
Allan Pinkerton (of Pinkerton's National Detective Agency), Chicago

Allan Pinkerton (1819-84), founder of Pinkerton's National Detective Agency, was born in Glasgow, Scotland, on August 25, 1819. Pinkerton emigrated to the United States in 1842 and eventually established a barrel-making shop in a small town outside of Chicago. He was an ardent abolitionist, and his shop functioned as a "station" for escaped slaves traveling the Underground Railroad to freedom in the North.

Pinkerton's career as a detective began by chance when he discovered a gang of counterfeiters operating in an area where he was gathering wood. His assistance—first in arresting these men and then another counterfeiter, led to his appointment as deputy sheriff of Kane County, Illinois, and, later, as Chicago's first full-time detective.

Pinkerton left his job with the Chicago police force to start his own detective agency. One of the first of its kind, this predecessor to Pinkerton's National Detective Agency, provided an array of private detective services—specializing in the capture of train robbers and counterfeiters and in providing private security services for a variety of industries. By the 1870s, Pinkerton's growing agency had accumulated an extensive collection of criminal dossiers and mug shots that became a model for other police forces.

In 1861, while investigating a railway case, Pinkerton uncovered an apparent assassination plot against Abraham Lincoln. It was believed that conspirators intended to kill Lincoln in Baltimore during a stop along the way to his inauguration. Pinkerton warned Lincoln of the threat, and the president-elect's itinerary was changed so that he passed through the city secretly at night.

Union General George McClellan later hired Pinkerton to organize a "secret service" to obtain military information in the Southern states during the Civil War. Pinkerton sent agents into Kentucky and West Virginia, and, traveling under the pseudonym "Major E. J. Allen," performed his own investigative work in Tennessee, Georgia, and Mississippi.

After McClellan was replaced as the commander of the Army of the Potomac in 1862, Pinkerton resumed the management of his detective agency. The agency expanded after the Civil War, opening offices in New York City (1865) and Philadelphia (1866). As his business grew, Pinkerton drew public attention to its work by producing a series of popular "true crime" stories.

In time, because Pinkerton's Agency was often hired by industrialists to provide intelligence information on union-organizing efforts, Pinkerton guards and agents gained notoriety as strikebreakers. Notable confrontations between Pinkerton agents and laborers include the 1886 Haymarket Riot and the 1892 Homestead Strike, both of which occurred after Pinkerton's death in 1884.
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Neil Gale (Ph.D.)
owner

Photographs & History  - 
 
Due to the great amount of pan handling on Michigan Avenue and the loop district, measures have been taken to put a stop to it and help only the needy and deserving. "Tokens" are being sold to the public so that when a pan handler begs he may be given a token (a paper ticket worth 20 cents) that allows him a meal for 12 cents and lodging for 8 cents at the Cook County Jail. This is something new... though food has been given nightly on the lower level of Wacker Drive between the hours of 9:30 and 10:00 PM. (September 24, 1930)
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Neil Gale (Ph.D.)
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Photographs & History  - 
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Neil Gale (Ph.D.)
owner

Photographs & History  - 
 
To all members. Please LIKE our history group's Facebook community page.
https://www.facebook.com/LivingHistoryOfIllinoisandChicago
Thank you.
We love Illinois History as much as you do. Join our Facebook Group to post and participate....
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Neil Gale (Ph.D.)
owner

Photographs & History  - 
 
Dr. Thomas Neill Cream (May 27, 1850 – November 15, 1892); Serial Killer.

Dr. Thomas Neill Cream, also known as the Lambeth Poisoner, was a doctor secretly specializing in abortions. He was born in Scotland, educated in London, active in Canada and later in Chicago, Illinois.

Cream established a medical practice not far from the red-light district in Chicago, offering illegal abortions to prostitutes. He was investigated in August 1880 after the death of Mary Anne Faulkner, a woman on whom he had allegedly operated, but he escaped prosecution due to lack of evidence. In December 1880 another patient, Miss Stack, died after treatment by Cream, and he subsequently attempted to blackmail a pharmacist who had made up the prescription.

On 14 July 1881, Daniel Stott died of strychnine poisoning at his home in Boone County, Illinois, after Cream supplied him with an alleged remedy for epilepsy. The death was attributed to natural causes, but Cream wrote to the coroner blaming the pharmacist for the death after again attempting blackmail.

Cream was arrested, along with Mrs. Julia A. (Abbey) Stott, who had become Cream's mistress and procured poison from Cream to do away with her husband. She turned state's evidence to avoid jail, laying the blame on Cream, which left Cream to face a murder conviction on his own. He was sentenced to life imprisonment in Joliet Prison. One night unknown persons erected a tombstone at Mr. Stott's grave which read, "Daniel Stott Died June 12, 1881 Aged 61 Years, poisoned by his wife and Dr. Cream."

Cream was released on July 31, 1891 when Governor Joseph W. Fifer commuted his sentence after Cream's brother pleaded for leniency, allegedly also bribing the authorities. Moving to London, he resumed killing (mostly prostitutes) and was soon arrested. He was hanged on 15 November, 1892.

According to the hangman, his last words were reported as being “I am Jack the...". Records show Cream was in prison at the time of the last three Ripper murders in 1888.
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Mary Kussmann's profile photo
 
I've never heard of him. Thank you for sharing this. 
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Neil Gale (Ph.D.)
owner

Photographs & History  - 
 
Hotel Planters, 19 N Clark Street, Chicago IL

Hotel Planters, Clark and Madison Streets. Designed by John O. Pridmore in 1910, this nine-story classical structure blends the architectural ideas of both Chicago construction and Beaux Arts. Columbia Burlesque theater marquee announces its show, The Flirting Widow. The burlesque house became the Clark movie theater when the hotel was renamed the Harding. Three First National Plaza is located on this site.

Hotel Planters Restaurant / Merrie Garden. In the early years, the Planter's restaurant was a classically inspired find-dining room that included a small orchestra pit. By 1917, the restaurant was modified. Guest ate in the Merrie Garden and were entertained by cabaret acts. In time, the room was redesigned in a medieval theme.
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Neil Gale (Ph.D.)
owner

Photographs & History  - 
 
Kline Creek Farm, West Chicago, IL

Take a step back in time. Experience what life was like on a DuPage County Farm in the 1890s. Stroll through restored farmstead structures and meet the historically-costumed interpreters operating this living-history farm using the tools and techniques of the past. Activities and events at the farm re-create the seasonal rhythms that have governed farm life for centuries.

Kline Creek Farm presents 19th-century farm activities, such as baking, canning, planting, harvesting, sheep shearing and ice cutting among other activities. The farmhouse was the center of domestic activities and today contains original artifacts and reproductions that enhance its homelike atmosphere. Depending on the time of year, staff and volunteers plant heirloom fruits and vegetables in the kitchen garden, tend to the orchard, work in the wagon shed or cure sausages in the smoke house. Percheron work horses help plant and harvest crops of corn, oats, and other small grains; and resident livestock, such as the farm’s Southdown sheep, Shorthorn and Angus cattle, and chickens, occupy the farm’s coop, barn, fold, and pastures.

Beekeeping is also a long-standing tradition at Kline Creek Farm. Since 1984 volunteer beekeepers have managed the farmstead’s apiary by caring for the bees, extracting and processing honey, and leading educational programs and tours that focus on the honeybee’s role as primary pollinator for two-thirds of all U.S. crops.
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POSTING AND COMMENTING RULES FOR: LIVING HISTORY OF ILLINOIS AND CHICAGO® community. **Please Read This >>BEFORE<< Posting or Commenting** Our Digital Library: http://LivingHistoryOfIllinois.com Illinois History Store®: http://IllinoisHistoryStore.org 1. To protect the enjoyment of the group, we have a ZERO TOLERANCE policy for racist, anti-Semitic, ethnic, and religious or LGBT slurs and pornographic material. Criticism of administrators, disrespectful comments, members who start an argument, fight, affix blame, instigate, make trouble, political or religious bashing, people that are belligerent, post nasty or hateful comments, disseminate their twisted point of view (even in jest), or use profanity, will be banned immediately. 2. If you are too lazy to READ THE ENTIRE post and the comments, this is not the group for you. Your question may already be answered in someone else's comment. 3. Your own personal photos, one (1) family photo [with a history], Internet discovered pictures* (no smartphone/tablet screen captures), videos*, and non-sexual comments are welcome as a posting. 4. This is a STATEWIDE history group. You are expected to: - a. Present/write the history about the photo you post; - b. Post the location including the city because some members don't know. - c. Posting with no comment is a "Hit-and-Run" and will be deleted. 5. Links are NOT ACCEPTABLE as the MAIN POSTING in this group (i.e. no links to Websites OR other Facebook groups, walls, timelines OR other photo albums like Flickr, OR file sharing sites like Google Docs, etc.). >> BUT... if you post a photo (not a photo link), you may include a URL link in the posts body. >> TO TEST<< Click on the image presented. If it takes you to a website or another Facebook group or page, it is not posted properly for this group. >> Video links and PDF files ARE ALLOWED with a text description. 6. As a Comment; Website links (Non-sexual. Non-adult) are allowed except for other Facebook groups, pages, walls, or timelines. They will be deleted. 7. NO mentions of or links to any other Google+ Communities are allowed (unless approved). Other groups do not reciprocate links. Web links and photos ARE ALLOWED in the comment, except for Google+ links. 8. Administrators may remove a post that has already been posted recently to avoid duplication. 9. Thread comments must be on the posted topic. Comments not on topic will be removed. 10. The group is not a quiz show, trivia game or a request line and those types of posts will be removed. Search Google for your answers or photos requests. 11. Who remembers and personal journal type posts will be removed. 12. Group Get-togethers are not sanctioned. 13. Only posts about Illinois are allowed. *Copyrights to photographs/videos belong to their owner. Plagiarism may occur in this open, public forum, but it's not a crime. This group displays images and text for historical presentations only.

Neil Gale (Ph.D.)
owner

Photographs & History  - 
 
Swede Town Neighborhood of Chicago, Illinois
Later: Little Sicily "Little Hell" Neighborhood, Chicago.
Later: Cabrini-Green Neighborhood of Chicago.

Chicago's first Swedish settlement emerged in 1846, when immigrants destined for the Swedish religious colony in Bishop Hill, Illinois, decided instead to settle in Chicago. The boundaries indicated for the oldest Swedish district seem very narrow. The examination of the census lists and city directories indicates that nearly all of the 27 Swedish families which, in the summer of 1850 when the census was made, had their homes in the 7th ward on the city's north side, lived within an area near the river bounded by Erie street on the north and Franklin street ("the east part of the river branch") on the east. Swedish settlers in the river area were given notice of eviction by the real estate owners in 1853 or 1854. It has not been verified, but it seems credible in view of the industrial and commercial development of Chicago at that time. The areas along the river banks became quite important because of the city's growing industries, particularly after the opening of the Illinois-Michigan Canal, and of the first railroad, Galena-Chicago Union, in 1848.

Many of these earliest settlers came to work on the Illinois & Michigan Canal. Although the Swedish settlement remained small for the next two decades, reaching 816 people in 1860 and 6,154 in 1870, it represented the largest single cluster of Swedes in the United States. During the 1870s, the Swedish population in the city doubled, outnumbered only by the German, Irish, and British immigrant groups.

As the Swedish settlement moved, the area north of the Chicago River on the Near North Side became known as "Swede Town". It was bounded by La Salle Street on the east, Division Street on the North, Chicago Avenue on the South and the Chicago River to the west. A second, smaller Swedish area developed on the South Side in Douglas and Armour Square. The third grew on the West Side in North Lawndale. Smaller settlements also emerged in West Town and the Near West Side.

Swedes began leaving "Swede Town" after the devastation of the Great Chicago Fire of 1871. The process accelerated in the 1880's as more and more folks left these initial neighborhoods of settlement for less dense surroundings as the community became increasingly prosperous and worked its way up Chicago's economic ladder. By 1920 Swedes dominated North Side neighborhoods such as Andersonville (also sometimes referred to as "Swede Town"), Lakeview as well as areas such as Grand Crossing and Englewood to the south. The nickname would reemerge in these new Swedish-dominated districts as the original "Swede Town" became Little Sicily also known as "Little Hell" and later still the Cabrini-Green Neighborhood.
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Neil Gale (Ph.D.)
owner

Photographs & History  - 
 
Chicago River Tunnels

The low bridges crossing the Chicago River were frequently opened for the passage of masted vessels, cutting off street traffic to the North and West Sides. City officials began discussing tunnels under the river as early as 1844. The 1,605-foot Washington Street tunnel opened January 1, 1869. North Side access was made easier with construction of the LaSalle Street tunnel (1869–71), 2,000 feet long. The tunnels were a valuable escape route during the fire of 1871, which quickly consumed the wooden bridges. These first two tunnels served private vehicles and pedestrians; they carried no horse-car lines. However, in the 1880s the cable car companies took over the two tunnels, because cables could not cross drawbridges, and in 1891–92 built a third street railway tunnel just north of Van Buren Street, 1,514 feet long.

Although the tunnels had been some 18 feet under the riverbed when built, reversal of the Chicago River in 1900 exposed them. They were closed with the end of cable car operation in 1906. Wider, deeper replacements were built underneath the original tunnels and opened to electric streetcar service in 1911–12. To avoid steep grades at either end, the new LaSalle Street tunnel was built in dry dock, of steel plate, and lowered into a trench in the riverbed.

The Van Buren Street tunnel was closed to regular traffic in 1924. The LaSalle Street tunnel closed in 1939 to allow subway construction, and the Washington Street tunnel was closed in 1954.
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Neil Gale (Ph.D.)
owner

Photographs & History  - 
 
Spiegel Inc., Chicago, IL

Joseph Spiegel emigrated with his family from Germany to the United States in 1848, when he was eight years old. In 1865, Spiegel started a home furnishings store in Chicago. A 1903 merger with another furniture company created Spiegel, May, Stern & Co. In 1905, Joseph and his son Arthur Spiegel started a large-scale mail-order business; mail-order sales for 1906 totaled about $1 million.

By 1910, the company employed about 300 people at its offices on West 35th Street. In 1912, the company began to sell women's clothing. Thanks to its mail-order operations, Spiegel grew rapidly during the 1920s, as annual sales rose from $4 million to $24 million. Sales dropped during the first part of the Great Depression, but Spiegel grew between 1933 and 1937 (when its name became Spiegel Inc.) by offering installment buying plans and pursuing a strategy of high-volume discount sales. Business slowed during World War II, when the company experimented unsuccessfully with operating retail stores. After shedding these stores in 1953, Spiegel reached $200 million in annual mail-order sales by the end of the 1950s.

In 1965, Spiegel was acquired by the Beneficial Finance Co., another mail-order company, which moved Spiegel into the field of high-priced designer clothing. By the early 1970s, when annual sales reached about $400 million, Spiegel employed about 5,000 people in the Chicago area. In 1982, Spiegel was acquired by Otto-Versand, a German catalog company. Under the new ownership, Spiegel expanded. In 1988, when orders placed by telephone accounted for the bulk of its business, Spiegel purchased the “Eddie Bauer” clothing chain and brand from General Mills Inc.

At the beginning of the 1990s, Spiegel, based in suburban Downers Grove, still employed about 2,200 people at its catalog warehouse on Chicago's South Side, but this facility would soon close. During the 1990s, when Spiegel mailed as many as 340 million catalogs a year and operated about 350 Eddie Bauer stores worldwide, annual sales rose to $3 billion. At the turn of the new century, when the Otto family of Germany still controlled Spiegel, the company employed about 1,600 people in the Chicago area. The economic recession of the early 2000s hit the company's catalog and credit card divisions hard. Spiegel entered Chapter 11 reorganization bankruptcy in early 2003.

In June 2009, Spiegel became a Lynn Tilton company focused on women's style and fashion products.
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Neil Gale (Ph.D.)
owner

Photographs & History  - 
 
A very unique system has been started in the new Harrison Hotel, for calls, paging and etc.. Nancy O'Connor is shown being awakened from a sound sleep by a call over the radio telling her it's time to get up. (Sept. 1930)
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Neil Gale (Ph.D.)
owner

Photographs & History  - 
 
One of the most unique barber shops in Chicago is located in the Mandel Brothers Department Store. It is a sort of feature attraction for the kiddies, and instead of using the old form of chair, the children are placed on hobby-horses, and their minds are occupied in looking in at the moving scenes that take the place of the mirrors. Left to right: Harold H. Klein trimming the hair of Richard Handel, while A. Faubel is taking care of Retta Williamson.
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Neil Gale (Ph.D.)
owner

Photographs & History  - 
 
MYSTERY of the Waubansee Stone of Chicago, Illinois.

One of the most fascinating and obscure artifacts in North America is tucked away in a Chicago museum. The Waubansee Stone is a huge glacial erratic granite boulder with a larger-than-life head sculpted upon its upper surface. The expertly fashioned relief carving shows the face of a man with a chin beard, depicted with his mouth open and eyes closed. On the top of the stone, just above the head, is a large drop-shaped bowl that once emptied through the head and out of the mouth, over the lower lip, to another drainage spout below the man’s goatee. There are also two connecting holes on either side of the boulder, presumably used as a line anchorage for a sea vessel. All holes and drainage spouts are currently plugged with putty or other additions, suggesting there is no interest in a modern restoration. The mysterious face carving and associated cavities have given rise to speculation about its origins, including one theory that the stone was carved by prehistoric Mediterranean seafarers who used the 3,000-pound boulder as a mooring stone.

Originally standing around 8 feet in height, the Waubansee Stone is mentioned in early Fort Dearborn accounts as being located just beyond the stockade walls, along the shore of the Chicago River. Checagou was an Indian word for “wild onion,” a plant that grew profusely along the banks of the river. When the first fort was built in 1803, the Potawatomi Indians of southern Lake Michigan had been trading with white people for well over a century, but were becoming increasingly hostile to the amount of new settlers coming into the region and staking a claim on their land. President Jefferson, who was very interested in the Northwest Territory, was anxious about its security. He felt that an American military outpost should be established to protect the new frontier. He selected the mouth of the Chicago River as the site for a new fort. At that time there were several fur traders and their Indian wives living in the region. The fort was named after General Henry Dearborn, Secretary of War. It was built on the south side of the Chicago River where Michigan Avenue now crosses at Wacker Drive. Skirmishes with the Potawatomi were on the rise, reaching a crescendo in 1812 when 50 settlers and soldiers were massacred and the first fort was burned to the ground by the enraged Indians. The second Fort Dearborn was rebuilt in 1816-1817 and the Waubansee Stone was presumably reduced in size to be dragged into the fort’s parade grounds where it remained until the fort was dismantled. After that the stone passed from collector to collector until it found a permanent home at the Fort Dearborn section in the Chicago Historical Society, where it remains to this day.

Historian Henry H. Hurlbut developed the generally accepted theory about the stone’s origin in 1881, unsupported by any records or documentation. His belief, admittedly based on no evidence, has the stone being carved in the early 1800s by an un-named soldier stationed at the original Fort Dearborn. Its face was supposedly fashioned after the friendly Native American Potawatomi chieftain, Waubansee, and this appointed name stuck. Hurlbut had only hearsay on which to base his observations, including the presumption that the Indians used the upper recess as a mortar to grind their corn. This accepted explanation has come under fire from several angles. For starters, the recess was intentionally plugged after the Indians supposedly used it, so it would have been an ineffective mortar because the corn would have drained through the mouth. Also, why would a frontier soldier, who was probably suspicious of the Potawatomi in the first place, spend many months to carve the likeness of their tribal leader? Aside from the fact that granite is one of the hardest stones to sculpt, the face is clearly the work of a master stonecutter who must have devoted a considerable amount of time and labor to the job—hardly in keeping with the strenuous daily tasks of a common frontier soldier. Finally, Native Americans were not known to have grown goatees, nor did they ever carve in granite. But if not Hurlbut’s anonymous soldier or an Indian sculptor, then who crafted the mysterious features on the Waubansee Stone?

With more source material than Hurlbut had at his disposal, yet with an uncertain date and a possible grisly usage, fragments of evidence can be pieced together using various historians to arrive near the truth. An article in the Chicago Tribune dated September 22nd, 1903 clearly illustrates the two opposing viewpoints clashing over the stone’s origin. “The second school of historians and antiquarians is convinced that the so-called Waubansee Stone dates back hundreds and perhaps even thousands of years before even Father Marquette first visited the site of Chicago in 1673. They see in the tall bowlder, with its deeply top, a sacrificial altar on which perhaps the mound builders of prehistoric America offered even human sacrifices, and they are ready to believe that the face carved on one side of the stone is a representation of an ancient idol—one of the far off gods to whom that mythical people poured libations and offered the sacrificial blood of animals. However that may be, there is no question of doubt that in the early days of Fort Dearborn, as far back as we have any record, that identical stone, practically the same as it is today, lay near the stockade of old Fort Dearborn.”

The diffusionist theory of the Waubansee Stone describes it as a sacrificial altar for ancient Celtic and Phoenician traders in the millennium before Christ.

All historians agree that the Mississippian Culture performed animal and human sacrifices high atop their platform mounds, but where this practice originated is unknown. The Aztec or Toltec people from Mexico may have influenced them, or perhaps an earlier seafaring people notorious for infant sacrifices were responsible. It is well known that the Phoenicians (and their Celtic allies) traveled across the ocean to “the Farthest Land” known as Antilla. The precise location of Antilla was a closely guarded secret because it contained the most valuable commodity to Bronze Age people—copper. Michigan’s Upper Peninsula is the richest natural deposit of pure copper in the world. It may seem a long way to go for the metal, but in the Bronze Age copper was more prized than gold or silver since it was the primary alloy used in weapon and tool production. With profit as a clear motive for their journey it makes sense that the Phoenicians would travel very far to export copper. It also makes sense that the Phoenicians would spread their religious practices with their voyages. An integral element of the Phoenician religion was infant sacrifice to appease pagan gods and win favor for whatever activity was at hand. At the height of Phoenician power—lasting a thousand years from 1,200 BCE until the Second Punic War—babies were taken to an outdoor sacred site, called a Tophet, where a young child was placed in a carved depression on an altar and had its’ throat slit. Both the Celts and Phoenicians were known to sacrifice infant children of their enemies, or barter with their trading partners to acquire a baby for this heinous ritual. In the case of the Waubansee Stone, the sacrificial blood would flow through the sculpture into the Chicago River as an offering to the water gods, thus ensuring a safe passage. The stone’s hideous purpose is evident in the closed eyes, an unusual style elsewhere, but recurring in surviving Phoenician art used for infant sacrifices. Moreover, the face depicts a chin beard, a personal grooming style of male Phoenicians. The mouth of the Chicago River was a necessary transition stop before entering the narrow river network leading into the Mississippi and then down to the Gulf of Mexico. Ships would need to be reconfigured from open water safety to narrow river defense. Oars and shields would replace conspicuous sails. After arriving at the mouth of the Chicago River, the ancient explorers may have settled for a brief time, sailed onward, been killed off, or possibly assimilated with the native population. There was likely a small Tophet temple at this strategic crossroad of lake and river, which thousands of years later would grow up to be the third largest city in the United States.
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Neil Gale (Ph.D.)
owner

Photographs & History  - 
 
Herbert Televox, the Mechanical Man, Chicago, IL

[PHOTO #1] June 28, 1928 - "Mechanical Man" does his stuff in Chicago. A new version of the "Mechanical Man" was exhibited to the association of Iron and Steel Elcetrical convention delegates in Chicago last night. The mechanism, more properly called Televox responds to sounds transmitted through the telephone. The earlier models all have used an answering signal consisting of a buzzer mounted in front of the transmitter. The Televox exhibited last night has been given a voice with which it responds in spoken words. The photo shows Irene McCoy lighting a cigar for the mechanical man last night.

[HISTORY]
Westinghouse Electric and Manufacturing Co's first robot was Herbert Televox, built in 1927 by Roy Wensley at their East Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania plant. The robot was based on the patents of Wensley, filed in 1923, 1927 and 1929. The first man weighed 600 pounds, but the one above only weighs 40 pounds. The Televox could accept a telephone call by lifting the telephone receiver. It could then control a few simple processes by operating some switches, depending on the signals that were received. Televox could utter a few primordial buzzes and grunts and could wave his arms a bit. Although speechless when first created, Televox later learned to say two simple sentences.

From the January, 1928, issue of Popular Science Monthly journal:
…Look first at that mechanical creature answering the telephone. He is the invention of R. J. Wensley, an engineer of the Westinghouse Electric and Manufacturing Company, and goes by the name of Televox. It you could dissect him you would find his inner workings much like those of your radio receiver, and little more complicated. Yet if you should establish him at home in your absence—which the inventor says is not at all impracticable—he would serve you as a trustworthy and obedient caretaker.

The mechanism consists primarily of a series of electrical relays, each sensitive to a sound of a certain pitch, and capable of translating that sound into specified mechanical action, such as opening and cloning the switches of electrical appliances. Each relay is actuated through a tuned electrical circuit responsive to vibration of a given frequency and no other, somewhat as the circuits of your radio can be tuned to a broadcasting station of a given wave length.

The mechanical man is not connected electrically to the telephone, but listens much as you would. His ear is a sensitive microphone placed close to the receiver. His voice is a loudspeaker close to the transmitter. And the language he speaks is a series of mechanically operated signal buzzes.

Experimentally, he has been made to understand and respond to words uttered by human voices, but for practical operation the language which spurs him to action has been simplified to three different sounds of different pitches. These sounds are made either by three tuned pitch pipes or, as in the New York demonstration, by three electrically operated tuning forks.

For illustration, imagine you are at the house a friend and are calling your home equipped with a Televox. In the ordinary way you telephone your home. Why, your phone rings. Televox lifts the receiver and utters a combination of buzzes which tell you that you have the right number.

Now you sound a single high note from the first pipe, which means, "Hello, get set for action." Televox stops buzzing and responds with a series of clicks, saying "All set: what do you want?".

Next you sound two short notes from the same pipe. These tell Televox to connect you with the switch on the electric oven. The reply is two short buzzes saying, "You are now connected," followed by a long buzz-z-z-z, which informs you that "the switch is open."

At this, you sound a deeper note on the second pitch pipe, meaning "Close the switch and start the oven." Immediately Televox ceases the long buzz, closes the switch, then replies with a short, snappy buzz informing you that the switch has been closed and the oven is going.

Next you may wish to inquire about the furnace, and with the first pitch pipe you sound three shrill notes. This means "Connect me with the furnace and tell me how hot it is." The reply is three short buzzes, telling you that the connection has been made, followed by a pause, then two more buzzes which say, "The furnace is pretty low."

So you blow four blasts from the same pitch pipe, meaning "Connect me with the switch operating the drafts." Televox replies with four buzzes, signifying that the connection has been made; then one short buzz informing you that the drafts are closed. With one blast from the second pitch pipe you order the drafts opened. Televox instantly opens them, then gives the long buzz to say that the job is done.

If nothing further requires attention, you blow the third pitch pipe, the lowest in tone of the three, which says "Good bye." Televox hangs up the receiver, and stands ready for the next call.

Each of these astonishing actions, as already explained, is accomplished by a different sound-sensitive relay. When the bell rings, the noise causes the first relay to lift the telephone hook and start the signal buzzer. The high note of the first pipe serves to connect any desired one of a number of relays, each of which has been arranged to control a certain operation. Thus, when the note is sounded twice, it moves a switch that connects relay number two, controlling the electric oven. When sounded three times, it connects relay number three, and so on, according to the number of operations for which the apparatus is designed. Each time a relay is connected, Televox gives a corresponding number of buzzes, indicating that the connection has been made. Moreover, it sounds an additional long or short buzz indicating whether the switch to be operated by the relay is open or closed.

The lower note of the second pitch pipe is the operating note; that is, it causes the connected relay to open or close the switch as may be required; also to report the fact by changing its long buzz to a short one, or vice versa. The deep note of the third pitch pipe simply causes Televox to quit work and ring off.

To demonstrate that Televox will respond to spoken words as well as musical notes, the inventor has set up in the Westinghouse laboratories at East Pittsburgh, Pa., a mechanism which will open a door to the call of "Open sesame!". The sounds of the voice, however, are too highly complicated for use in general practice. Still, a person with a good ear for music can get response from Televox by whistling or singing in the exact notes to which the relays of the machine are tuned.

Three of the machines already are in actual use in Washington, D. C., replacing watchmen at reservoirs. By their buzzes they tell the distant caller the height of water as shown by the gage in the reservoir, and also control the flow of water at his bidding…

The Herbert Televox robot became a national sensation, and was followed by a parade of increasingly advanced machines.
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Wow a robot in the 1928, they sure where ahead of there times! 
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Neil Gale (Ph.D.)
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Photographs & History  - 
 
Lyon and Healy, Chicago, IL

Lyon and Healy is a musical instrument manufacturer that still operates in Chicago. Formed in 1864, Lyon and Healy opened a factory at Randolph and Ogden in 1890 that is still operation.

Known for their harps, they have also at times made guitars, banjos, pianos, and other musical instruments.24 In 1913, the factory depicted on the postcard was opened (designed by Hyland and Green). Located on Fullerton just west of Pulaski (then Crawford), along the Milwaukee Road line, the factory included a station along the railroad named after the complex; the station is still called Healy to this day.

The Lyon and Healy factory on Fullerton did not remain in operation for long; by the 1930s, it was home to the Mills Novelty Company, a noted coin-operated machine manufacturer.26 The usual model of industrial de-concentration would suggest that the company would have closed their original factory on the Near West Side and made the Fullerton location their main operation. In actuality, the Fullerton operation did not last twenty years, and the firm’s 100+ year old Near West Side factory still remains in operation to this day!
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Neil Gale (Ph.D.)
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Photographs & History  - 
 
Red Bud, Illinois - Old Opera House

[BUILDING PHOTO] by Neil Gale.
This beautiful Opera House, located at 116 East Market, Red Bud, IL, was built in 1855 in downtown Red Bud. It is now the site of the Red Bud Area Museum. The museum's mission is to collect, preserve and display exhibits, artifacts and documents that chronicle the city's history and growth.

[HISTORY]
The city receives its name from the redbud tree, a species of flora that grows in the area. The first development by a German settler within what is now the city limits was made by Preston Brickey in 1820. He constructed a log cabin a few yards north of where the depot now stands, and here cultivated a farm. In 1839 James Pollock placed a small stock of goods in the log cabin built by Henry Simmons, where he did business for about a year. This was situated about a quarter mile east of today's Catholic Church building. The next year he moved his stock of goods into a log building erected by John C. Crozier, which was situated on the ground now occupied by Henry O'Harra's lumber yard. He continued the business there about three years, when he moved to Preston. In 1840 R.D. Dufree became the first permanent merchant in Red Bud. Two years later he built a frame store house on the southeast corner of Main and Market streets. The first brick school house was erected in 1854, in the east part of town.
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Neil Gale (Ph.D.)
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Photographs & History  - 
 
Help our community grow. Share this community with your Google+ followers and invite your Illinois connections to join.
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