Making a List: Historical Holiday Shopping

Long before Cyber Monday, folks who didn't live close enough to a city to visit shopping districts downtown would order their holiday gifts through the mail using paper catalogs. If they were ordering those presents between around 1870 and 1920, it's likely they were ordering from a Chicago company. In 1872, just after the Great Chicago Fire, A. Montgomery Ward's…
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Absolutely Fireproof: The Iroquois Theater Fire of 1903

Chicago experienced the worst theater fire in U.S. history. The burning of the Iroquois Theater claimed the lives of over 600 patrons, a tragic number that even exceeds the estimated 250 lives lost in the Chicago Fire of 1871. Beautiful, lavishly designed and deemed “absolutely fireproof”, the ill-fated Iroquois Theater opened to the public on…
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Weird Sisters and Others

Witchy women and feminine magic are favorite tropes in literature. They don't always get a fair shake, but in these books that could be filed under magical realism, they tend to come out on top in a (mostly male) world intent of keeping them down. Pull out your favorite throw blanket and curl up on…
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Joy to the World

Have you ever wondered how the rest of the world spends their holidays? I know I have. Well, wonder no more, we have the answer to that and more as my crack research team of library elves put together this list of resources to satisfy your curiosity: A World of Cookies for Santa: Find out…
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