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Chicago, As It Was

Currier & Ives celebrated the growth of American cities by issuing maps often from a bird’s-eye perspective. This Chicago map documents the city’s landscape prior to the great fire of October 8 through October 10, 1871, that killed hundreds of people and destroyed miles of the city. The print is similar to another image published by Currier & Ives in 1872 titled, The City of Chicago as it was before the Great Conflagration of October 8th, 9th and 10th 1871. The views are comparable in both works though the number and types of ships vary.

This map of Chicago was printed by Currier & Ives to document the city's landscape prior to the two historic fires that took place in 1871 and 1893. Lake Michigan appears in the foreground, with the entrance to a canal that runs through the heart of the city. Many ships, both sail and steam, navigated the waters of the lake.

Date: Undated

Artists: Nathaniel Currier and James Merritt Ives
Date of Artists: American, 1813-1888 and American, 1824-1895
Medium: Hand-colored lithograph
Measurements: 14 1/8 x 10 1/8 inches
Access Number: 2004-D03-158
Gift of Lenore B. and Sidney A. Alpert, supplemented with Museum Acquisition Funds

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