Posts tagged great chicago fire

The cause of the fire may have also been a femme fatale named Mame, who’s “kiss burned Chicago down.”

Peggy Lee sings Put the Blame on Mame on the Andy Williams Show in October of 1966.

The song was originally written for Rita Hayworth’s most famous character in her title role as Gilda in 1946.

The legend of Mrs. O’ Leary’s cow being the cause for the Great Chicago Fire has permeated the popular culture to the point that it is accepted as fact by most. 

But did you know the real reason the fire started is because of Superman’s dog, Krypto, aka Superdog? 

Click the image to enlarge.

The legend of Mrs. O’ Leary’s cow being the cause for the Great Chicago Fire has permeated the popular culture to the point that it is accepted as fact by most.

But did you know the real reason the fire started is because of Superman’s dog, Krypto, aka Superdog?

Click the image to enlarge.

Today marks the 143rd anniversary of the Great Chicago Fire, where over 3.3 square miles of the city burned, leaving more than 300 people dead and over 100,000 people homeless.

Despite being, at the time, one of the worst natural distasters in US history, the will and spirit of the people of Chicago prevailed. By some accounts, ships bearing lumber to rebuild the city were already entering the mouth of the river as the embers were still smoldering three days later.

The first image shows the city before the fire and the second shows the conflagration spread from 157 DeKoven St, north to North Ave.

The third photo is a very detailed image of what we now call the Loop, taken from Franklin between Lake and Randolph, looking east, in the days after the fire. Note that rebuilding had already begun.

Click the photo to enlarge, or to see an even higher resolution version, go to this link: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/1/1b/Attributed_to_George_N._Barnard_-_Untitled_%28Chicago_after_the_Chicago_Fire%29_-_Google_Art_Project.jpg

The south east corner of Clark and Randolph, pre-fire,1865, Chicago.

The south east corner of Clark and Randolph, pre-fire,1865, Chicago.

Smoldering coal embers burn on the north side of the Chicago River’s east branch in the days after the Great Fire, 1871, Chicago.

Smoldering coal embers burn on the north side of the Chicago River’s east branch in the days after the Great Fire, 1871, Chicago.

Before and after photos of the Great Fire, looking south on Wabash from Jackson, 1871, Chicago.

Before and after photos of the Great Fire, looking south on Wabash from Jackson, 1871, Chicago.

Dearborn and Madison (with the skeleton of the Chicago Tribune ) 1871, Chicago.
If you’re looking for Carl, he’s gone where the woodbine twineth.
Update: Thanks to johnnypayphone.tumblr.com for noting that “where the woodbine twineth” was a euphemism used at the time to designate one “going to the bathroom” as woodbine was often planted along outhouses to mask the smell. A quick google search finds a lot of references to the once popular saying, which could also mean “being buried in a graveyard” or “lost.” There was also an episode of the Alfred Hitchcock Hour named as such.

Dearborn and Madison (with the skeleton of the Chicago Tribune ) 1871, Chicago.

If you’re looking for Carl, he’s gone where the woodbine twineth.

Update: Thanks to johnnypayphone.tumblr.com for noting that “where the woodbine twineth” was a euphemism used at the time to designate one “going to the bathroom” as woodbine was often planted along outhouses to mask the smell. A quick google search finds a lot of references to the once popular saying, which could also mean “being buried in a graveyard” or “lost.” There was also an episode of the Alfred Hitchcock Hour named as such.

The first Chicago Tribune building, south east corner of Dearborn and Madison, 1869, Chicago.

The first Chicago Tribune building, south east corner of Dearborn and Madison, 1869, Chicago.

It’s Chicago Day at the Columbian Exposition!, 1893, Chicago.
On this date, chosen to commemorate the anniversary of the Great Fire, the fair would break records with over 715,000 people visiting the grounds in one day.
"The World United at Chicago"

It’s Chicago Day at the Columbian Exposition!, 1893, Chicago.

On this date, chosen to commemorate the anniversary of the Great Fire, the fair would break records with over 715,000 people visiting the grounds in one day.

"The World United at Chicago"

N Michigan Ave (then called Pine St), shortly after the fire, 1871, Chicago.

N Michigan Ave (then called Pine St), shortly after the fire, 1871, Chicago.

Ruins of St. Joseph’s, Chicago at Rush, 1871, Chicago.
I love this photo for the fact that you can see the photographer’s shadow.

Ruins of St. Joseph’s, Chicago at Rush, 1871, Chicago.

I love this photo for the fact that you can see the photographer’s shadow.

141 years ago today marks start of the Great Fire which would lay the city in ruin.
Here is a shot looking north from what is now the curve on Wacker just west of Wabash, October 1871.

141 years ago today marks start of the Great Fire which would lay the city in ruin.

Here is a shot looking north from what is now the curve on Wacker just west of Wabash, October 1871.

Corner of State and Madison after the fire, 1871, Chicago.

Corner of State and Madison after the fire, 1871, Chicago.

Lake Street before and after the Great Fire, 1871, Chicago.

Lake Street before and after the Great Fire, 1871, Chicago.

Immediately after the Great Fire in 1871, temporary buildings were built on the east side of Michigan Ave as the rest of the city rose from the ashes.
This is looking north east from Adams.

Immediately after the Great Fire in 1871, temporary buildings were built on the east side of Michigan Ave as the rest of the city rose from the ashes.

This is looking north east from Adams.