A chromolithograph of a section of an industrial district of the Chicago River, showing two freighters, a tugboat, and elevator of the Chicago Railway Terminal Co. and the Rock Island Elevator A and B. The Chicago skyline is in the right background. A large painted wall-sized Schlitz beer sign appears on the railway terminal elevator.
The view represents the cross fertilization between rail and water transportation in the period. Rail lines owned elevators that served lake freighters. The freights are equipped for sail and steam for power.
An excellent example of chromolithography, an early color process. The elevators, freighters, and tugboat represent the evolving technologies of the period. Illegible names appear on the tug and the freighter in the foreground.
There is a disconnect between the subject matter in this print and the reality of transportation corridors, especially river fronts. The grittyness of Chicago's river corridors has been sanitized in this print, which shows clean water and no debris. Sulphurous looking smoke, however, emanates from the tugboat, giving a hint of the malodorousness of the neighboirhood. While William Henry Jackson is associated with many of the views in this series, the inferior composition of this view indicates that he did not take it. Excellent documentation.