For much of the 20th century, the Chicagoland area was a manufacturing mecca due to its central geographic location and ready access to rail and water transportation. The city and suburbs mass-produced a wide range of products, including appliances, bicycles, electronics, furniture, globes, pianos, pinball machines, radios, railroad cars, sporting goods, telephones, televisions, typewriters, tools, toys, tractors, and watches. This book traces the origins of manufacturing in Chicago and explores the city's proud history of making steel and shaping metal. It also provides extensive coverage of the golden age of manufacturing in the region, including Chicago's unique contribution to the arsenal of democracy during World War II. The nostalgic journey includes stops at famous Chicago companies from the past, such as Bell & Howell, International Harvester, Pullman, Schwinn, Stewart Warner, Sunbeam, Western Electric, and Zenith.
About the Author
Austin Weber is a native Chicagoan with a lifelong interest in the city's unique industrial heritage. As editor of a leading trade magazine for engineers, he has visited hundreds of factories around the United States and written extensively on American manufacturing. This book features many never-before-published photographs gathered from a wide variety of sources, including rare images from the collections of the Chicago History Museum and private individuals.