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Smoke on the Water: 1905

Smoke on the Water: 1905

Chicago, 1905. "Chicago River east from Rush Street Bridge." Detroit Publishing Company glass negative, Library of Congress. View full size.


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Rio Detroit

Son geniales, me encantan!!!

Tug Harry C. Lydon

The tug, Harry C. Lydon, was built in 1898 in Benton Harbor, MI. (Maritime History of the Great Lakes). She was employed by the Chicago and Great Lakes Dredge and Dock company which was a subsidiary of the Great Lakes Dredge and Dock Company, which still exists.

The tug's namesake, Harry C. Lydon, was vice-president of the Chicago & GT Lakes D & D Co. and brother of William A. Lydon, President and co-founder of the Great Lakes Dredge and Dock company. Harry died in November 1903 at age of 32.

The tug is towing a barge of what appears to be dredge spoil, perhaps related to the project referenced in the following article.

Detroit Free Press, Sep. 6, 1904


Toledo, September 5. - Great progress has been made with the enlargement of the straight channel. Manager Murray, of the Chicago and Great Lakes Dredge and Dock company, which is doing the work, said yesterday after examining the work out in the bay, that the inner end of the channel will be finished by early in November. Thus there will be a channel 400 feet wide and twenty-one feet deep from the crib lights to the Wheeling bridge. Next summer the outer and shorter end of the channel from the crib range to the new harbor light will be completed.

The Schooner

The three masted schooner tied up by Kirk Factory #2 is very much a commercial vessel. She's showing her age too. These ship would have stayed in service for years after steamers became common. They'd stay in service pretty much until they wore out. Probably the most famous fishing schooner of them all, the Bluenose (the ship on the Canadian dime) was in commercial service in 1946when she went down off of Haiti.

Spencer, Bartlett warehouse

This leading hardware dealership was the descendant of a Chicago store called Tuttle, Hibbard & Co., which took that name in 1855 when William G. Hibbard became a partner. In 1865, Hibbard was joined by Franklin F. Spencer, and the enterprise was renamed Hibbard & Spencer. By 1867, the company's annual sales of hardware had reached $1 million. When longtime company employee A. C. Bartlett became a partner in 1882, the company's name became Hibbard, Spencer, Bartlett & Co. When Spencer died in 1890, the company was already among the leading wholesalers of hardware in the United States. In 1903, the year Hibbard died, the company opened a 10-story warehouse next to State Street Bridge in downtown Chicago. In 1932, the company introduced a new line of hand tools under the brand name "True Value."

-- Encyclopedia of Chicago History

Is this bridge gone now?

I looked at a map and I don't see a bridge at Rush Street. I've only been to downtown Chicago a couple of times, but looking east down the Chicago River from Rush Street would be looking towards Michigan Avenue one block to the east. But I don't see the Michigan Avenue Bridge. Can anyone help? I'm guessing the Rush Street Bridge was torn down after this photo was taken and the bridge at Michigan Avenue was built later.

[Google "Rush Street Bridge" and you'll have the answer in about 10 seconds. - Dave]

Tall Ship

The tall ship on the left is a bit of a surprise--wonder was it commercial as well?

And the two guys on the tug barge--I'd like to see closeups of them. They've got a great vantage point!

Sticky fingers?

This must have been a popular plate. Quite a few fingerprints on this one.

[It's mostly a handprint. - Dave]

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