February 25, 2013

Vintage Manufacturers of the Area

The Subposts within this Post:
1) Manufacturers of Old Lake View
2) Organic Manufacturers 
that includes:
Green Houses & Clay Pits & Ice Ponds
This post is about the manufacturing companies that once blanketed the Township/City and District of Lake View. Most manufacturers from the 19th and early 20th century was once located near rivers & railroads for easy and efficient access to their marketable area. The Chicago area had abundant of both. I will highlight the most notable manufacturers while addressing the fact that Lake View was a blue-collar area much like the rest of Chicago at the turn of the 20th century. Manufacturing was the 'bread & butter' for labor and prosperity in Lake View as well as the nation.  Many manufacturers had problems surviving the Great Depression of 1929 many of which were located in the Lake View area. 
(Please click to enlarge images if needed)
1947 image - Forgotten Chicago website
a proportional map that highlights manufacturing in the U.S.
 Entire sections of old Lake View were devoted to manufacturing. 
The Great Depression of 1929 nearly ended most of the manufacturing base that was Lake View. 
Manufactering District in 1887
when Lake View was a township & city
Diversey to Fullerton
Ashland to the river
a view in 1923
Manufacturing Companies 
along the Tracks
mostly located along this railroad and/or North Chicago River
(click to enlarge)
image - Lance Grey
the track route from School Street to Addison
Within the red box, the right of way of the former Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul RR - Evanston branch can be found. The south end of this line linked up with the Kingsbury Street line, part of Chicago Terminal Railroad. Countless of local manufacturers built their factories along this RR now replaced by houses, apartments, condos and businesses. This branch was meant for freight only.
a bill of sale for a candy shipment
The Manufacturers by Name:
Illinois Malleable Irons Works
Established in 1880
The General Office was located at 1801 W Diversey Parkway
1891 invoice - my collection
The Company's Initial Location in 1887

photo 1916 catalog 
This was the largest company in physical size in the old 
Lake View area by 1923, the largest area along Paulina
image 1916 catalog - see title for link
with a sample of their product below
 photo - 1925 catalog

 on sale by Ebay for $2,500 in 2019
Plant #1
photo - 1925 catalog
 Plant #2

photo - 1925 catalog
 Plant #3
Google Map & Earth Perspectives 2018
an aerial view below - 2018 Google Earth

Northwest Terra Cotta Company
2525 N Clybourn Avenue
Urban Remains product for sale
According to a company called Urban Remains the name "northwestern" had its inception in 1877, when the firm True, Brunkhorst & Co. was organized. the five founding members were John Brunkhorst, Gustav Hottinger, Henry Rohkam, John Tank and John R. True. The True, Brunkhorst & Company continued to do business as the North-Western Terra-Cotta Works until 1887, when it was officially incorporated as the Northwestern Terra Cotta Co.

image - Columbia Digital Library
and postcard - Urban Remains
A Narrative from their 1924 catalog
image via Ebay with a zoomed view below
A  Terra Cotta Home on Oakdale

The Northwestern Terra Cotta Catalogue

Billing Receipts 
from Urban Remains
'Northwestern Terra Cotta Company was one of the Chicago's largest manufacturer of architectural terra cotta. With headquarters at 1750 Wrightwood Avenue when Lake View was a township & city and then part of Chicago. The company operated from 1877 until its last factory, located in Denver, closed its doors in 1965. The firm was a leader in development of the architectural terra cotta industry & provided building elements for numerous Chicago buildings
such as Wrigley Building, Chicago Theatre, and Civic Opera House.'
The Company's Location in 1887 ...
1892 advertisement 
 Art Institute of Chicago via Explore Chicago
a 1894 Sanborn Fire Map view 
The Fire of 1911
from the Art Institute of Chicago
In 1911 the original building was destroyed by fire and by the next year a new building took its place in the same spot depicting the popularity and financial strength of the company
 page 2
Rebuilt that Same Year 
'At the beginning of the 20th century, architectural terra cotta was firmly established as America's premier material for detailing commercial structures, especially the new, steel-framed skyscrapers then rising in Chicago and New York City. After the devastating Chicago fire of 1871, the fireproof qualities of this ancient, baked-clay form propelled its acceptance as a less expensive and lightweight alternative stone. Terra cotta's popularity peaked in the 1920's, before being eclipsed by modernist curtain walls of glass, exposed steel, and concrete.'
 Workers feeding the kiln

mixing area
men with chisels
One of the nation's pioneering manufacturers was the Northwestern Terra Cotta Company (1877–1956), in Chicago. The company would have a plant in Denver. To direct both production and installation, the studio’s draftsmen transformed architectural blueprints into comprehensive "shop drawings" that identified exactly where and how each puzzle-like piece would be secured to its supporting structure. Favored by such international architectural luminaries as Louis H. Sullivan, Daniel Burnham, and Albert Kahn, the company ultimately contributed to thousands of buildings across the country in a wide array of styles.
 men working with molds
polychrome (painting or decorate) room
In the 1890's the Northwestern Terra Cotta Company successfully recruited European craftsmen to join the firm as sculptors in its modeling shop. These highly skilled artists could earn three or four times as much as a less skilled laborer at the same factory.
 Sculptors working on architectural molds models
drafting room
By 1920 the firm's Clybourn Avenue plant covered 24 acres and was the largest in the world. In addition to operating a second facility in Chicago Heights, the company subsequently acquired plants in St. Louis and Denver.
Northwestern Terra Cotta targeted its client base by advertising in trade journals such as American Architect. The company wasted no time promoting its involvement in the construction of the distinctive Wrigley Building—the first skyscraper completely clad "from sidewalk to searchlight" in terra cotta. Not only was the gleaming white-enamel office tower Chicago's tallest structure at that time, it was the first of a series that inaugurated new development north of the Chicago River.' - National Building Museum
a 1923 Sanborn Fire Map sectional
a street bridge connected the buildings

for the  Carson Pirie Scott & Company 1899
Art Institute of Chicago via Explore Chicago Collection
A 1906 Sales Book
images - Ebay 

The Company President 
image (unknown date) - Amazon
The president lived at 1054 W Oakdale Avenue on what is regarded today as Terra Cotta Row in Lake View
... his death in 1929
The Presidents' Home
1054 W Oakdale Avenue
built in 1886 when Lake View was a township
his son home as well - Adolf 
at 1057 W Oakdale Avenue
and built in 1901
The Company's Salesman Samples
photos from Ebay and my collection
a salesman sample for potential client 
now part of my collection
 part of my private collection
This is a 6" wide and 4 1/4" tall
Another Salesman's Sample
part of my Lake View collection
My Piece from St. Bonface School
church to the left & school to the right
photos via Urban Remains
the school clcosed in 1983 & demo'ed in 2003
My piece of the school ...
the terra cotta face
12 x 6 in size
top and side views
Samples of their Works of Art
a tile
selling at Ebay for $675 as of 2017
It measures 15.75" x 12" x 1"
another salesman's calling card - Ebay
images - Ebay 
This Christmas tree stand 
was given to customers of the company

The Union Stock Yard
"In the collection of the Chicago History Museum, Chicago is this terra-cotta arch from the Union Stock Yard, 1888, Chicago, designed by the office of Burnham & Root manufactured by Northwestern Terra Cotta Company, Chicago. Originally this arch stood in the Union Stock Yard at the National Live Stock Bank of Exchange Avenue and remained there until the stockyards fire of 1934. Flanking the doorways are figures of a southwest cattle rancher (left) and John D. Gillett (right), a prominent Illinois cattle rancher. The arch was also installed at the Stock Yards Inn until the Inn was demolished in 1976. Then installed around the entrance to the International Amphitheatre. In 1984 it was donated to the Chicago History Museum." - Rolf Achilles 

Union Station
The Company's other Advertisements
images - Ebay
The North-Side HQ still Remains on Terra Cotta Place
photo - Andrew Jameson via Wikimedia Commons
with a Google Map view

Their Downtown Office Lobby 

Remaining Artifacts 
by Urban Remains as of 2018
pieces from St. Boniface School building that was part of a salvage operation in the 1990's

Wrigley Chewing Factory office building

A House on Wellington
The entire exterior of this house that was once located
531 W Wellington was embedded with terra cotta all around it. The house was constructed between 1894 & 1923. According to Windy City Historians-Facebook by a contributor named Greg Brewer, "The house was built in 1900 for Mrs. Margarette True, prior to her marriage to Horace Brand in 1910. The architects were Huehl and Schmid. The garage was built in 1910. The architects were Tallmadge and Watson. The property was apparently sold following Mrs. Brand's death in 1919. The house was demolished and replaced by an apartment building in 1922."
below photo - Chicago History Museum 
via Explore Chicago Collection
William Deering & Company
to later merge with
International Harvester
from 1880-1930
the property view - Ebay
1894 Sanborn Fire Insurance Map of the location
with a 1923 map view below

photos - Chicagology 
built in 1880
Artist Bror Julius Olsson Nordfeldt's depiction
illustration - Art Institute of Chicago unknown date
Receipt dated 1888 
when Lake View was a city in Illinois from Ebay
Trading Cards

and the reverse side
from my personal collection
Trading Cards from Ebay
with the reverse side

with the  reverse side

the reverse side 


photos - Ebay
The Area along the River in 1894
A More Detailed View in 1891
The Area by 1923

The Area by 1950
with a zoomed view below
a Google Earth 2018 View below
William Deering & Company advertisement pages
image above - Ebay
image below - Amazon
William Deering-a veteran dry-goods wholesaler who had been doing business in Maine and New York-had established a rival harvester factory at Plano, Illinois, southwest of the big city; in 1880, Deering moved his factory to Chicago. Weary of competition, the Deering [William Deering & Company] and McCormick families [McCormick Harvesting Machine Company began to talk about a merger of their companies during the late 1890's. 
 images - Ebay

Their Catalog 
6 photos - Ebay
their story for the Chicago Columbia Exhibition

booklet pages - Ebay

postcard - Ebay 

McCormick Deering Chicago Cast Iron Sickle Grinder
photo - Ebay
A New Relationship in 1899
By this time, McCormick had a plant at Blue Island and Western Avenues that employed over 5,000 people; the William Deering & Company on Fullerton Avenue on the city's North Side employed about 7,000. In 1902, McCormick and Deering along with the Plano Manufacturing Co. (which had about 1,400 workers at its West Pullman plant) and two smaller farm equipment makers merged to form International Harvester. The new company was capitalized at $120 million and dominated the American market and, as its name suggested, played an important role in world markets as well. For most of the twentieth century, International Harvester (IH) was one of the leading industrial corporations in the United States; its operations were concentrated in Chicago and its suburbs.
By the turn of the 20th century International Harvester began a partnership with WM Deering & Co. as these invoices attest
 with the backside of it with a meshed photo of the property
images - Ebay
image - Ebay
1922 advertisement
photo - Throwing Wrenches
By 1910, when IH grossed about $100 million in annual sales, it had over 17,000 workers in the Chicago area, making it the leading employer in the region. By that time, IH had established its own steel mill on the city's far South Side, which it named Wisconsin Steel, as well as manufacturing plants in Sweden, Russia, and Germany. A manufacturer of trucks as well as tractors, during the first years of the twentieth century the company moved away from animal-powered equipment and toward motorized vehicles. By the 1930's, as the nation's leading manufacturer of trucks. 
– Encyclopedia of Chicago
image - Ebay
An International Harvester of America advertisement
In the first quarter of the 20th century International Harvester had a presence in Europe particularly in Imperial Russia 
as well as Soviet Russia.
image below - postcardy
Manufacturers South of Diversey
established in the District of Lake View
As your recall Fullerton Avenue was the southern border to the township/city, district of Lake View until the end of the 1920's
The A.L. Luetgert Sausage Works
The Company's Location in 1894
zoomed view below
 2018 Google Map view below - red star as a marker
North of International Harvester facilities within the manufacturing area along the Chicago River was Adolph Luetgert's Sausage Works once located on Diversey Parkway near the north branch of the Chicago River near Northwestern Terra Cotta Company and the Deering Works.
'Albert Luetgert had established a packing house and stockyard on the city’s north-side, in the 1700 block of West Diversey Avenue, in 1879. It had become very successful over the years, from an initial investment of four thousand dollars to a point where the A.L. Luetgert Sausage & Packing Co. was considered the ‘sausage king’ by 1890’s' according to the Ravenswood-Lake View Historical Association.
Albert Luetgert
photos - Ebay
image - Alchemy of Bones
On May 1, 1897 Mrs. Luetgert, Louisa, disappeared. Albert told his children their mother was visiting her sister. After a few days, Diedrich Bichnese, Louisa’s brother, reported her missing to the police. Luetgert [changed his story] now said Louisa 'had run away with another man.' There are several photographs from Murderpedia and with an accounting of the event by Historical Crime Detective.
below postcard - part of my collection

est. 1881
image - Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific Railway
a 1894 Sanborn Fire Map that highlights the location 
south of Diversey & Lakewood (Henderson)
 an employee button - Ebay
Diversey Avenue Bridge - Chicago River
photo via Patrick McBriarity, Bridge Hunter.com 
image of map - Ebay
The first bridge opened September 11, 1896 [when Lake View was a still a relatively newly formed ‘district’ of Chicago and seven years after the annexation of the City of Lake View in 1889.] It was 184 feet long and 35 feet wide. It was a steel hand operated swing bridge. Designer was unknown [according to this website]. Superstructure Contractor was Lassing Bridge and Iron Company and the substructure contractor was Lydon and Drews Company. The cost was $31,345. [As of 2018 this bridge was on its 2nd design.]
a bridge in Iowa

a blueprint in sections
images - Ebay

Paul J. Daemicke & Co.
manufacturers of ice boxes
photos - Ebay
a 1923 Sanborn Fire Maps of a factory 
property location from Altgeld to Fullerton 
a 1894 map below highlighting
a side view map location along the Evanston branch of the Chicago,Milwuakee, St. Paul RR
image - Linkedin Slide Show
a 1894 Sanborn Fire Insurance Map
 1894 Sanborn Map same location with a zoomed view below
property location from Dunning to Fullerton

A.H. Buhrke & Company 
producer of leather products
such as the lumberjack tree pole climbing belt and 
hand-forged Hickory Shaft Putter 
photos from Ebay

Standard Cap & Steel Co.
producer of sheet metal products
manufacturer metal products and attachments?? 
photo - Pinterest
photo - Ebay
M. Linkman & Co. 
producer of smoking pipes
Max Lau Colortype Co
publishing & postcards
with some samples of their product below
 postcard - Ebay
1923 Snborn Fire Insurance map below
and a booklet of Springfield Illinois
and mailers

a zoomed view below
Balkwill & Patch Furniture Co.
producer of furniture that included toilet commodes
... and a lithographing company of an unknown name
a producer of architectural/measurement supplies
with a sample of their product - drafting tool kit

all photos - Ebay
strategy located next to the Evanon branch of the Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul RR
photo - Black Diamond/Google Books
 images - Black Diamond/Google Books

photo - Industrial History

unknown source
photo - Hank's Truck Forum
notice a RR watch tower that was once located at the intersection of west of Seminary, Clark, & Addison Street 
photo via thetolleydodger
photo - via Susan Groff contributor of 
LakeView Historical-Facebook view south now defaunt section of  Seminary Avenue. Wrigley Field is out of frame to the left of the photo. Franksville and Henry's are in the photo
The Sanborn Fire Map views

 The tracks appear slice through the middle of the blocks
Hildebrandt Coal Company of Chicago
1157 W Newport
Robert J. Hildebrandt lived and worked in Lake View 
per this 1911 Illinois list of Corporations
along with a 1923 Sanborn Fire Insurance location ...
images from Black Diamond/Google Books
(Facebook Album)
1151 W Roscoe Street
a publishing company 1900-1956
located along Racine with a main office on Roscoe
1923 Sanborn Fire Insurance Map
zoomed view at Roscoe/Racine

an ad from a 1958 Lake View High School yearbook
a general view of the area in 1950

composite of postcards - Etsy
their World Fair exhibit
postcard images - Ebay 
postcard - Ebay
1902 Chicago Tribune 
8x11 Lithograph Inserts 
via Ebay

doll cut-outs - Ebay image

 part of my private collection
... also located at 1800 W Fullerton Avenue
Apparently their administrative/storage buildings were located on Racine Avenue
 the plant on Fullerton Ave
image - 1950 Sanborn Fire Map
Rutter Coal Company
property was north & south of Belmont

matchbook - part of my collection
a 1923 Sanborn Fire Insurance Map 
images - Ebay

image - Ebay
a 1923 Sanborn Fire Insurance Map of the location

Rutters Coal near Belmont and again at School Street
and its products ...
image - Blue book of Commerce 1940
image - Chicago's Sweet Candy History
1950 Sanborn Fire Insurance Map - X marks the spots
the buildings were located on both sides of Fletcher Avenue
photo - Chicago Switching
images - Ebay 

below image - Ebay
Some Testimonials - LakeView Historical
 Curtiss Candy Company
Lake View's Own
image - Official Referance Book 1922
1923 Sanborn Fire Insurance Map below
images above - Chicago Sweet Candy Factory

a matchbook - Ebay
and its various locations
 their various & earliest products 
images - Ebay
one of the favorite products
image - Craig Lost Chicago
their office building on Diversey/Broadway
1950 Sanborn Fire Insurance Map
an invoice from the main office on Diversey/Broadway
This invoice is part of my collection
Their office location was on northeast corner of Diversey and Broadway within their own building that was simply called the Curtiss Building according to this 1950 Sanborn Fire Map
with another location on Belmont/Seminary. More than likely the location was a warehouse as well as the main office.

Their letterhead stationary - part of my collection

zoomed view of the address 
4 images - Ebay

The warehouse location was at 3636 N Broadway
which was originally the Wieland Dairy 
at the turn of the 20th century
a window display that indicates the location on Broadway
The display is part of my collection

established in 1893?
Lake View's Own
1923 Sanborn Fire Insurance Map
once located along the Evanson branch of Chicago Milwaukee RR
zoomed below
photos by Ebay
patties candy jar
and across the tracks ...
 photo - Layman Guide to Beer
1887 Sanborn Fire Insurance Map
with a zoomed view below
1894 Sanborn Fire Insurance Map
1923 Sanborn Fire Insurance Map
zoomed below
This building listed in the National Registry of Historical Places as of 1987Several brewers operated in these building(s) from 1885 either as a beer producing plant or brewery until its demise in 1961. This historical building is located at 1315-1317 West Fletcher within the Belmont & Sheffield area of Lake View. Why is this a landmark - Chicago's initial growing dominance in brewing beer. 
stationary - Ebay
a sample of their products
images - Ebay 
 photo - Garry Albrecht
 photo - Garry Albrecht
photo - via Christopher Brandt,Forgotten Chicago-Facebook
photo - via Christopher Brandt,Forgotten Chicago-Facebook
”Chicago is the most important railroad center in North America. More lines of track radiate in more directions from Chicago than from any other city. Chicago has long been the most important interchange point for freight traffic between the nation's major railroads.” - Encyclopedia of Chicago 
One such railroad was the Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul and Pacific Railroad Company - Evanston Branch that had its beginnings in 1872 twenty-eight years before commuter elevated tracks were built by the North Western Company (Redline and Brownline). The CM&P delivered freight to and from Chicago manufacturers that once included Lake View. Lake View in the 19th and mid - 20th centuries was referred to as a blue collar manufacturing area that included coal yards, metal works, meat storage warehouses, greenhouses and a well-known Chicago brewery. 
Sanborn Fire Insurance Map views:
with a zoomed view below
with a zoomed view below
with a zoomed 1950 view below
 part of my personal collection
The Best Brewing Company of Chicago was located along the CM&P so to economically transport their product to market. The building was originally owned by breweries Klockgeter & Company in 1885 and then Kagebein & Folstaff one year later. The buildings occupants were many but all related to brewing beer. Their beer products of this company were the ‘Hapsburg Bock’ (1933-1962), ‘Hapsburg Beer’ (1933-1962), and ‘Best Ale’ (1937-1962). Currently, the building is listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1987 and used for residential space. Most of the buildings of the former manufacturing area are physically gone but not completely forgotten thanks to Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps (Google maps of its day) that were created in the 19th century for primarily for property insurance, fire protection.
Lakewood has a tree and shrub barrier at this point
 photo - Garry Albrecht
View north toward the barrier on Barry Avenue
 photo - Garry Albrecht
crumbling of the street due to the covering of the tracks
 photo - Garry Albrecht
tracks are to the right of the map below
tracks are to the left of the map below
Tracks begin to appear as late as 2012
- view north and south on Diversey Parkway 
 photos - Garry Albrecht
a candy company in
Community of Lincoln Park
established in the District of Lake View
tracks to the left
 photos - Ebay
photo - Ebay
photo - Chicago: ChiTown/My Town-Facebook
 images - Ebay

C&E heading towards Peerless Confection - 2000
photo - Chicago Switching
their tin of candies - Ebay
The most popular company along its route was
Peerless Candies once located at Lakewood and Schubert in Lincoln Park along with Finkl Steel once located further south. Read and view more about the Evanston Branch that link downtown. 
A pinball company 1932 - 1977
a division of Chicago Dynamic Industries
1725 W Diversey Parkway 

photo - Craig's Lost Chicago
Crazy Ball 1948
Once located in Chicago, Illinois, the center of the pinball and arcade game industry since the early days of the coin operated amusement industry. The Chicago Coin was formed in 1931 by partners Sam Gensburg, Lou Koren and Sam Wolberg. Chicago Coin, more so than its main competitors, tended to be a general purpose arcade amusement company. The company made products such as shuffle bowling games, electro-mechanical car driving games.
image - Pinterest
a postcard mailer - Ebay
Around-the-World Trainer 1955 - Ebay
all images above - Ebay 1972 pinballs
Flipper Unit Brackets for their machines - Ebay
all images above - Ebay unknown date
'In 1973 Chicago Coin attempted to get in on the Pong craze by releasing 2 arcade game consoles; TV Football &  Hockey. The company manufactured a unique arcade video game item in 1975 called Super Flipper, which was essentially a video game simulation of pinball with a display monitor housed in a miniature pinball cabinet. In spite of these efforts, Chicago Coin was in financial trouble, by 1977 the company's assets were sold.' - Wikipedia
postcard - Chicago History in Postcards
'In 1909, when Congress passed the new Payne-Aldrich tariff imposing an import duty on all view cards coming in from Germany—the American printing houses all celebrated their good fortune. Only one, however, was truly in prime position to fill the production gap that the Germans were leaving behind. “It takes one to know one,” as they say, and nobody knew the latest German printing methods quite like Curt Teich.Teich’s increasingly eye-catching designs and growing fleet of offset presses (soon able to print 100+ cards on one sheet and roughly 500,000 cards per day, per machine) sent his business blazing into the 1910’s. A team of 10 print shop workers back in 1901 had grown to 80 by 1906, and 190 by 1911, when the company purchased an expansive new headquarters at 1745 W. Irving Park Road. Many of the employees making the move to the new building were fellow German immigrants and uniquely trained artists, specializing in photolithography, as well as drawing and retouching. 
The decision was made to invest in several new high-speed, offset rotary presses—massive machines that could rapidly print 32 different card designs, in full color, on one sheet. As an added wrinkle, Curt also devised a cost-saving hybrid method that was inspired by German trends, but still uniquely his own. It essentially involved combining traditional letterpress printing (with a black halftone base) and offset lithography, which could overprint four-color inks. When the “golden age” of postcards ended, i.e., when the initial bubble burst on sales slowed just before World War I, hundreds of publishers either folded or counted their losses and moved along to the next trend. Curt Teich & Company was one of the exceptions; not only surviving, but thriving. Yes, machining and technical prowess had played a large part in the firm’s emergence as the standard-bearers for the trade, but mass production only mattered if you also had the orders to fill, and Teich mobilized client acquisition better than anyone else.

By the 1910’s, Curt Teich & Company was producing about 150 million postcards annually, a large percentage of which were being purchased at so-called “five and dime” stores, such as F. W. Woolworth, where racks of local interest cards were routinely picked over and restocked. Teich saw this development early on, and became an exclusive supplier to Woolworth and other similar retailers. “One of the important things about the Teich company is that they printed whatever came through their doors,” says Katherine Hamilton-Smith, who presided over the Teich postcard archives when they were housed at the Lake County Discovery Museum [they have since moved to Chicago’s Newberry Library]

 Excerpt from an article published by Made in Chicago Museum

both postcards - Chuckman Collection
The Curt Teich & Company, Inc. building is of heavy timber and masonry loft industrial structure. It consists of an original three story (west) section and a five story (east) addition. The building is located on the southeast corner of Irving Park Road and East Ravenswood Avenue, along the industrial corridor next to the railroad tracks in the neighborhood known at the time as Ravenswood. Listed on the National Registry of Historical Places since 1990. Per the Registry, ' The Curt Teich and Company, Inc. building is a heavy timber and masonry loft industrial structure. It consists of an original three story (west) section and a five story (east) addition.' The building is located on the southeast corner of Irving Park Road and East Ravenswood, along the light industrial corridor next to the railroad tracks in the neighborhood known as Ravenswood. The building faces north on Irving Park Road. It was known as the world's largest volume printer that manufactured postcards. The company operated from 1898 to 1978.  In fact, most of all of the postcard images in this blog are from this manufacturer and collected from various collections such as Chuckman Collection, Chicago History in Postcards, and Ebay. Read more about their world-known postcards with this link.
the company before at the same location - images - Ebay
'The earlier west section [of the building] sets on property purchased by James McDonald about 1891 and built a second plant?? - 
J. S. McDonald & Company by 1901. J.S. McDonald & Co 
produce loose-leaf ledgersIt was then purchased by Curt Teich in 1910. Though the exact date and the architect of this building are unknown, it bears resemblance to the Dearborn Street station at Polk and Dearborn, built in 1885 and designed by architect Cyrus L. W. Eidlitz. It is built of red pressed brick in a Romanesque design.' 
 - National Register Nominations For Chicago
 page 2

images - Ebay
tri-image postcard with a linen surface
 from Hip Postcard
From the 1920's to the 1940's, Curt Teich & Co., the company that originally occupied this northside address, churned out more postcards than any other printer in the world. Over its 80-year history, the company produced cards featuring more than 10,000 towns and cities in North America and 87 foreign countries. According the publication 'Hidden History of Ravenswood & Lake View' by Patrick Butler 
(p 116) "salespeople would take pictures of local landmarks or businesses and try to get those businesses to order postcards to promote the local attractions". 
Welcome to Chicago
part of my collection


 a 1910 Booklet

images - Ebay
Stationary - part of my collection
photo of Postcard Place - Wikimapia
The location of the building is on the corner of Irving Park Road and Ravenswood Street. Currently, the building houses residences and is now called Postcard Place as of 1996.
Abbott Alkaloidal Company
(Abbott Laboratories)
District of Lake View - Ravenswood
4753 N East Ravenswood Avenue
est. 1888

a medical kit - Ebay
medicine bottle - Ebay
Wallace C. Abbott
photo - Abbott Labs website
Abbott Laboratories traces its beginnings to 1888 when Dr. Wallace C. Abbott operated a small pharmaceutical facility in the kitchen of his apartment [and then later in the basement of his home on 
4605 N Hermitage Avenue with images of billing with the factory address on them.
image - Ebay
 images - Ebay
image - Ravenswood-Lake View Association
He produced pills called "dosimetric granules," which provided a uniform quantity of drugs. He sold his products to other physicians, and in 1900 the business was incorporated in Illinois as Abbott Alkaloidal Company. By 1905 annual sales grew to $200,000. The name was changed to Abbott Laboratories in 1915. During World War I, Abbott prospered by developing anesthetics that were previously only available from Germany. These included procaine, a replacement for German novocaine, and barbital, a substitute for veronal. After the war Abbott built a manufacturing plant in North Chicago.- Lehmann Brothers Collection
a vintage medicine bottle
part of my collection
District of Lake View - Ravenswood
est. 1888
Berteau & Ravenswood avenues
The finest mallet percussion instruments 
ever created in the United States
J.C. Deagan succeeded in transforming the rough pieces of metal into a set of perfectly tuned bells which soon became standard orchestra equipment. He began to manufacture these bells in 1880. Later he developed many other musical instruments, including the xylophone, organ chimes, aluminum chimes, aluminum harp, Swiss hand-bells, and orchestra bells. The marimba he developed from a novelty from the jungle into an accepted musical instrument.
from Chuckman Collection
 photos - Century Mallet Instrumental Service
Currently, home of the Century Mallet Instrument Service 
 Watch a video about their instruments
4001-43 Ravenswood Avenue
once an engraving business
now owned by Hayes Properties
Sample of their products
 images from Ebay
est. in Chicago in 1896
Per Wikipedia, a ‘watchclock’ is a mechanical clock used by security guards as part of their Guard tour patrol system which require regular patrols. The most commonly used form was the mechanical clock systems that required a key for manual punching of a number to a strip of paper inside with the time pre-printed on it. (photoS below from Ebay)
4143 N Ravenswood
a sewage and treatment company
image - Stor
F.W. Steward Manufacturing Company
image - Popular Science
photo - Antique Fans Collectors Association
est. 1906
 all images - 'Everything But The House'
Union Linen Supply Company
image - State of Illinois Biennial Report of 1912
While the company no longer exists the building as of 2019 still stands and remembered with its' red brick exterior
 2018 Google Earth view 
 2018 Google Maps view
 a 1928 Sanborn Fire Insurance Map view
 with a zoomed view of the building below
located Belmont Avenue since 1902
photos - Yo Chicago
2018 Google view east of tracks
'Among the dozen or more binderies of the day, his alone survives, at 1751 W. Belmont Ave., where the bindery's success over 128 years stands as a monument to shrewd adaptation to changing times.' 
Read more from this 1996 article by Chicago Tribune
 a sample of their craftsmanship
images - Elston Press

'The Decameron' printed in 1887 - Ebay

Founder died in 1936
an article in 1984
(click on segment of this article to enlarge)
Read more from this 2007 article online and 
from Yo Chicago about this ageless company
Charles A. Hohmeier Lumber Company
1705-39 W Belmont Avenue/at Paulina
This company was established before 
Lake View became a township
1931 ad above
location in 1923 above
advertisement postcard below

Community of Ravenswood, 
District of Lake View
1901-1941 in Ravenswood
1905 Sanborn Fire Insurance Map
with a zoomed view below
a sample of their product
photos - Garry Albrecht, owner

The China-Painter
images - Fine Art Journal 1911
They most popolar seriewe of dishware at the time
In the Shop
trademarks & more samples
The Greenhouses & Hothouses
Greenhouses and hothouses were used for growing fruits, 
vegetables and floral plants/flowers. 
Budlong Pickle Works
1894 Sanborn Fire Insurance Map
Chicago Neighborhoods & Suburbs: A Historical Guide

This 1894 Sanborn Fire Map shows the location of the 
hothouses of J.A. Budlong company farms 
Note: N. 59th = Foster Avenue

Beginning in the mid 19th century ‘truck farms', a term used for the transportation of farm produce to market, were mostly owned and operated by German speaking folks, called Luxembourgers who used the historically regarded first settler of Lake View Township, Dr. Conrad Sulzer, business practices. The truck farmers would drive their product in horse-drawn wagons down the Old Little Fort Road known today as Lincoln Avenue to City of Chicago. Celery was the chief crop with pickles as important. This crop gained such broad distribution throughout the Midwest and East Coast, the legend is told, that local growers proudly called the area the nation's celery capital. The most well known if not the most successful of the greenhouses and hothouses of the this area was the  J.A. Budlong Company located in Jefferson township community of  Bowmanville with the boarding house and plant office located on Lincoln Avenue north of North 59th (Foster Avenue) blocks west of Western Avenue. (Western was the border of Jefferson and Lake View Townships)
The J.A. Budlong Greenhouses and Hothouses
The Budlong Brothers opened a successful pickle factory in 1857 and expanded into the commercial flower business with the opening of Budlong greenhouses in 1880. The farms were noted not only for pickles but for cucumbers and onions. They are regarded by locals as the original guardians of Budlong Woods as well as Bowmanville community. The Chicago Daily News 1903 article below highlights the farms features and its workers as well as a Native American burial sight located in that area
According to Jennifer Sherman Yonesawa via ‎Living History of Illinois and Chicago-Facebook "the Budlong Pickle Company began in the late 1800’s on a 500-acre farm around the area that is now Foster between California and Western. The area is still known as Budlong Woods. In 1908 it was sold to my aunt’s family. When her father, George Hathaway retired in the late 1950’s he sold the company and it was eventually absorbed by Dean Foods."
Below is a Chicago Tribune article about school revisiting their namesake and honoring a man who was 
one of the first to settle in the area.
Lynn Budlong: A Memory in 1965
page 2
 The Albert Fuchs Greenhouses
Lake View
This 1894 Sanborn Fire Map depicts the location of one of his properties on Halsted Street 
Rokeby = Fremont
This 1894 Sanborn Fire Map depicts the location of one of his properties on Evanston (Broadway) Avenue between Addison and Waveland Avenues

Mr. Fuch was noted for his prized Cycas revoluta
The American Florist: A Weekly Journal for the Trade in 1900
Fuch would replace his greenhouses 
with flats (apartments) called the Chateau
and created a theater of the same name on Grace at Halsted Street. The article below highlights this fact.
George Wittbold & Company 
greenhouse and nursery
with a Buckingham Place Shop
an advertisement that appeared in the 
1931 Lake View Yearbook
text - Directories of Director in the City of Chicago 1902
- The Tales of a Traveler:Reminiscences & Reflections 1916
George Wittbold arrived in Chicago in 1857 on the heels of Dr. Conrad Sulzer, the grandfather of Lake View Township and at the same time of J.A. Budlong. George Wittbold was apparently the former gardener of King that governed the Principality of Hanover (Germany), King Ernest Augustus who died in 1851. Upon Mr. Wittbold's arrival the rural German population in the township were general known as farmers or commercial gardeners. He followed suite and later would create a multi-generational business that would last well into the 20th century by adding a nursery/retail shop on Buckingham Place. Wittbold & Company grew tropical plants that included ferns and palms as wells as roses and chrysanthemums in the family greenhouses located on the corner of Halsted and School (Aldine) Streets. The family business would sell their product in their store located in the pre-1909 address of 1657-59 Buckingham Place (745 West Buckingham) currently luxury condos. 
The Buckingham Place building was renovated from a storefront to condo units during the 1990's. I remember the store as an expanse, independent floral store when I moved to LakeView in 1993 as highlighted in the article below.
(click on article to enlarge)
Most of the earliest greenhouse were located near cemeteries of the old township much like J.A Budlong properties 
near Rose Hill Cemetery.
The Sanborn Fire Maps of 1894 highlights most of them located in the newly formed district of Lake View in Chicago.
Near Rosehill Cemetery
Front = Ravenswood Avenue
Armin Avenue = Thorndale Avenue
Commercial = Ashland Avenue
Cemetery Road = West Rosehill Drive
1894 Sanborn Fire Map
Ridge Road = Bowmanville Avenue
1894 Sanborn Fire Map
Ridge Road = Bowmanville Avenue
1894 Sanborn Fire Map depicting hothouses
Ridge Avenue = North Ridge Boulevard
Pratt = West Pratt Boulevard
Other Greenhouses 
Further South
1894 Sanborn Fire Map depicting Chicago & Evanston RR tracks for easy transport to market
Evanston = Broadway Avenue
1894 Sanborn Fire Map depicting a location at top of image
Commercial = Hermitage Avenue
1894 Sanborn Fire Map
(Perry = Greenview Avenue)
(Cosgrove = Warner Avenue)
Below is a 1894 Sanborn Fire Map
(Dunning = Altgeld Avenue)
The Clay Pits, Ice Ponds, & Brickyards:
‘Fired clay brick’ is a type of brick that has been used as a primary building material before the United States became an independent nation. Clay and shale are the important ingredients in the manufacturer of bricks and are dug original from earth pits then fired in a kiln at up to 2,000 degrees. By going through a chemical-transforming, verification process in the kiln, the minerals in the clay/shale unit fuse together and become a material that looks great, lasts an incredibly long time and needs practically no maintenance. With its modular-unit size dimensions and built-in design flexibility, brick has always been a material of choice for this country's residential and commercial structures. 
-  text fromThe Brick Industry Association, edited
‘Clay pavers’ are another type of clay brick that have been used in the United States since colonial times. A company called Indianapolis Motor Speedway installed over three million clay paver's in 1910-1911, and they are still residing under the asphalt surface of many urban areas.
The Ice Ponds & Clay Pits
'brick' manufacturing locations
The ice ponds were sold off to ice companies that cut the ice for consumer 'ice boxes' - a precursor to refrigerators
 a majority of the ponds in modern Lake View 
were located south of Diversey north of Fullerton
per this 1887 Sanborn Fire Insurance Map
"When clay pits satisfied or nearly satisfied their usefulness, most often, the earth pits would be allowed by the owners to be filled-in with water (naturally?) so that an ice pond would be created for winter fun. But as the articles below indicate the summer months tell a different and much less fun story of the unhealthy conditions of the pits when the brick manufacturers abandoned the useless pits. The article mentions that the pits were allowed to filled with garbage and other waste products in the humid and hot summer months some of the pits located near schools. Some of the pits would be covered during the summer months the odor was repugnant to bare."
The Chicago Tribune article's text is dated June 17, 1892. 
sectional map 1
sectional  map 2
sectional map 3
the building on the lower right is Prescott School
west of Ashland
sectional map 4
Below is a short history of the clay pits and its relationship to manufacturing of bricks from Lake View Saga 1837-1985
Brickyard Companies along Ashland Avenue in 1891
a zoomed view of two of those companies
Death Pits & Health Issue in 1892

The Brick Yards
The making the bricks
Some Locations
per 1887 Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps
Greenview to Ashland
Barry to Diversey
with a zoom view of some of them

Labor Troubles in 1884

The Tools of the Trade
The tools used to remove ice blocks from the ice ponds to be stored in the precursor to electric refrigerators - ice boxes
2 images - Ebay
All the green/hot houses and clay pits/ice ponds have been replaced by dwellings that mirrored the technologies and/or usefulness of an era that is now mostly forgotten. This post reminds the reader/viewer what once was in our neighborhood area. When you walk down a street shown above ... pause and remember with some regret for these pits could have been natural reservoirs or lagoons.
When you can't fool with Mother Nature
 before the Big Tunnel in the 1970's by Lance Grey
"Interesting how they took advantage of the ancient lake beds in the swath from Fullerton to Belmont. - Not only for brickyards, but in the Winter months for small artificial Lakes centered near today's Wrightwood Park, to build Ice Houses & Kilns (per Chas. Rasscher 1887 maps) - And the role the clay plays in recurring flooding problems in the area- as experienced near this Quonset Warehouse known as Majestic Screw & Bolt where I worked in the '70’s just south of Diversey on Greenview. [Shown in a May-1955 photo]"

No Post Note:

Important Note:
These posts are exclusively used for educational purposes. I do not wish to gain monetary profit from this blog nor should anyone else without permission for the original source - thanks!