about about search support browse contact

Chicago River Elevators

Chicago River Elevators
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.
Source Julie Johnson, Carol Stream, Illinois
Coverage Spatial, Chicago, Illlinois; temporal, late 1890s
Rights Julie Johnson, Carol Stream, Illinois
Date Created 1898 - 1900
Resource Type
Extent 7 in. x 9 in.
Location Chicago, Illinois
Image Type Cityscape
Creator Description Unknown.
Collection Julie Johnson Collection
Or, go to the Search Page
You can search the photos and collections using the links at the top, or log in to use the Forums and other features of the site.
Create a Login
Forget your password?


Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers
and Trainmen

Brotherhood's Relief and Compensation Fund
California State Railroad Museum
Center for Railroad Photography & Art
Cleveland Memory Project (CSU)
Kalmbach Publishing Co.
Lake Forest College Special Collections
McLean County Museum of History
Museum of the Rockies Photo Archive
Norfolk Southern Corporation
North American Railway Foundation
New York Transit Museum
Oakland Museum of California
Southern Museum of Civil War and Locomotive History

  About Copyright © 2013 Center for Railroad Photography & Art
Major support provided by the North American Railway Foundation