Encyclopedia o f Chicago
Historical Source: Video
Video Gallery
Celebrity of Technology
State and Madison
Stock Yards, Cattle
Stock Yards, Sheep
Behind the Bright Lights
Century of Progress
Celebrity of Politics
Teddy Roosevelt in Car
Daley Sworn in as Mayor
Daley at Robert Taylor Homes
Florence Scala
MLK Jr. at Soldier Field
Celebrity of Entertainment
Human Fly
Kukla Fran and Ollie
Studs' Place
The Celebrity of Technology

In 1893 Thomas Edison came to Chicago to demonstrate his peephole kinetoscope for fair-goers at the World's Columbian Exposition. Four years later a camera operator for the Edison Manufacturing Company arrived with instructions to capture city scenes for the "Erie Railroad Series," part of the railroad's promotional campaign to encourage ridership by showing "novel and interesting views" along the route. These early images of the city championed technology in all its forms, whether in the innovative use of space and production methods of the renowned Union Stock Yard facility or in the commotion of vehicles and people amidst the skyscrapers at State and Madison Streets. In later years, filmmakers and advertisers continued to highlight Chicago's technical achievements, from the electrical lights that had become a ubiquitous part of the city's landscape to the displays at the Century of Progress Exhibition of 1933-34.