The Social Evil in Chicago, A Chicago History Classic

On April 5, 1911, the Chicago Vice Commission released The Social Evil in Chicago. The unusually diverse Commission included religious leaders, doctors and representatives of social service agencies. Members included a rabbi, an African--American and two women. Unlike most 400-page government reports, the report became an instant best seller. The second edition came out April…
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History of Chicago Public Works and the History of the Development of Building Construction in Chicago

A great city is both a social entity and physical artifact. These two Chicago classics tell the history of Chicago's physical development. History of Chicago Public Works is known to library catalogs as Chicago, meaning that it takes quite a bit of effort to find. This nicely illustrated book has short chapters discussing such critical…
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Milo Quaife’s Chicago Highways Old and New, A Chicago History Classic

Last month I had a horrible flight. The plane taxied out late. Next, the crew announced that they were done flying for the day. Back to the terminal. We ate stale eight-dollar sandwiches. Five hours later the new crew took off into heavy turbulence. The seats were cramped and hard. The 1185-mile trip cost $69…
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Andreas’ Histories of Chicago and Cook County, Two Chicago History Classics

It is almost impossible to discuss Chicago history without mentioning A.T. Andreas' 1884 History of Chicago. The Municipal Reference desk keeps the three large volumes of the 1975 reprint close at hand and constantly uses them to answer questions. Andreas did not so much write history, as vacuum up information and print it. Thus, you can…
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Chicago Negro Almanac and Reference Book, a Chicago History Classic

Did you know that Duke Slater became a Chicago attorney and judge after being one of the few African American professional football players of the 1920s? That in 1924, Fannie B. Williams became first female member of the Chicago Public Library's Board of Directors? That Jesse Binga's wife inherited a quarter million dollars in the 1890's…
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