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Our holdings include hundreds of glass and film negatives/transparencies that we've scanned ourselves; in addition, many other photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs) in the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) They are adjusted, restored and reworked by your webmaster in accordance with his aesthetic sensibilities before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here. All of these images (including "derivative works") are protected by copyright laws of the United States and other jurisdictions and may not be sold, reproduced or otherwise used for commercial purposes without permission.

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[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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Open Sesame: 1907

Open Sesame: 1907

Chicago, Illinois, circa 1907. "Jackknife Bridge, Chicago River." The Pueblo passing through the open span. Glass negative by Hans Behm. View full size.

On Shorpy:
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Van Buren Street Bridge

From the Chicago Postcard Museum.

Correction. This is not the Van Buren St Bridge but a bridge between Van Buren St and Jackson that is no longer there.

Sorry no blues

This is not the Blues Brother Bridge. The river is to narrow and to many buildings. Looking over the 1906 Chicago Public Works report, the direction of shadows and the fact that the train is going over this bridge I suspect that it's the Lake Street bridge over the South Branch of the Chicago River. It's not Wells Street because that bridge goes north south. Problem is the Lake Street bridge had pavement added in 1907 & this one does not.

[The photo could have been made after 1907. - Dave]

More, info found. Lake St carried traffic and was paved in 1901. So no Lake St. This is an elevated track bridge that was located between Van Buren St and Jackson Blvd. It's on the maps of Chicago till sometime in the 50's. This was the one bridge for subway tracfic only in the loop. I found a few refence photos including the builders photos and no refence to location but South Branch of Chicago River. This is a Scherzer Rolling Lift Bridge built in 1895. I love this stuff and this website.

The odd boat

I believe that's the top of a mobile caisson used for underwater maintenance in those days.


This drawbridge is the one at State street at W. Wacker drive. Apparently the Blues Brothers bridge is a different one.

Jake and Elwood, where are you?

Isn't this the bridge shown in "The Blues Brothers"?

Jackknife Bridge, Chicago River

This is probably the Lake Street bridge, which was replaced by a double-decker bridge a few years a few years after this photo. It looks like this today.

Pueblo (1891-1937)

The Pueblo was built by the Milwaukee Shipyard in 1891. Renamed the Richard W in 1916 and finally the Palmbay in 1923. On Jan 16, 1926, she burned at her winter layup dock. Thought to be salvagable, but finally scuttled in Lake Ontario in 1937 without repair.

We all live ...

I recognize the boat in the foreground.


Looks like the Pueblo has had her share of bumps and bruises. Neat picture

Pueblo of Milwaukee

I'd love to know more about the "Pueblo." It appears to be an old wooden-hulled sailing ship that has been converted to steam.

He moved the camera

Must have moved it a good seven or eight feet closer to the bridge. Interesting that something happened to the white napkin or handkerchief, too, on the side by the strange "turtle boat."

[I think the camera is in the same spot. This photo has been cropped. - Dave]

SHORPY HISTORICAL PHOTO ARCHIVE | History in HD is a vintage photo archive featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1960s. (Available as fine-art prints from the Shorpy Archive.) The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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