Jan 7, 2012

Chicago, Illinois

Scenes from the View-Master packet Chicago (A551).


View-Master Chicago (A551), Packet Cover

Packet Cover


View-Master Chicago (A551), Booklet Cover

Booklet Cover


From the 16-page booklet:


A “city of superlatives,” Chicago was born to be great. Geography and American ingenuity decreed that it become the greatest inland seaport on earth, the world’s busiest railroad center, and—most recently—the No. 1 crossroads of the air age. Metropolitan Chicago, with about 7,000,000 people, is the hub of the greatest wealth-producing region on the globe, extending from the Gulf of Mexico to Central Canada, and from the Rocky Mountains to the Appalachians, The Chicago area stands second only to New York as an industrial center. Its 14,000 factories employing a million workers turn out $25 billion worth of goods yearly.

Its 12,000 wholesalers and 55,000 retailers sell about $30 billion worth of goods annually; its Midwest Stock Exchange is the nation’s second busiest; its grain markets the world’s largest.

View-Master Chicago (A551), from the booklet: a picture of Fort Dearborn

Fort Dearborn, built in 1803 at mouth of Checagou River, was the nucleus of modern Chicago.


GEOGRAPHICALLY SPEAKING. Strategically situated at the southern tip of Lake Michigan, Chicago provides the vital link between the seagoing shipping of the vast St. Lawrence Seaway and the Mississippi waterways system. It is the natural marketing center of the rich agricultural Middle West and has ready access to the raw materials of industry. Beginning as a town of 4170 people in 1837, Chicago passed the million mark fifty years later, and now embraces eight counties of northeastern Illinois and northern Indiana.


Scene 1

O’Hare International Airport

View-Master Chicago (A551), Scene 1: O'Hare International Airport

O’Hare International Airport


From the 16-page booklet:


Our View-Master Guided Picture Tour of Chicago begins at O’Hare International Airport, world’s largest, where planes take off or land on an average of one each thirty seconds, day and night, carrying 44,000 passengers a day, 16 million a year. Twenty-eight commercial airlines use the jet-age port’s 10-square-mile expanse, fourteen of them connecting the midwestern metropolis directly with European, South American, and Oriental cities. Helicopters link O’Hare, at the city’s northwestern edge, with Midway Airport on the southwest side, and Meigs Field, on the lakefront in the downtown area.


Scene 3

Water Tower, Old Landmark

View-Master Chicago (A551), Scene 3: Old Water Tower

Water Tower


From the 16-page booklet:


This “goldfish-tower Gothic” water tower on Michigan Avenue in the heart of the city proves that bustling, architecturally resplendent Chicago can be as sentimental as any small town in the world.

The old tower was one of the few Near North Side structures to survive the great fire of 1871 that destroyed most of the city. Legend has it that Mrs. Patrick O’Leary’s cow upset a lantern in a barn on De Koven Street to start the conflagration.

True or not, the fire, fanned by powerful winds, devoured 17,450 buildings in 27 hours, killed at least 250 people, and left 100,000 homeless. Almost before the embers cooled, rebuilding began, aided by gifts from all over the world; and modern Chicago arose from the ashes.

Virtually all of the city north of Van Buren Street was rebuilt. Debris was dumped into Lake Michigan to form the landfill foundation upon which a later generation built some of the world’s most beautiful municipal parks.


Scene 6

Equitable Center

View-Master Chicago (A551), Scene 6: Equitable Center

Equitable Center


From the 16-page booklet:


Chicago’s skyscrapers appear to rise in Venetian fashion from the water of the Chicago River in this view of the Equitable Center. The bridge in the foreground is one of eighteen that cross the river from Wacker Drive, Chicago’s famed double-decker street that follows the river’s southward curve in the center of the city’s “ancestor,” the settlement of Fort Dearborn, built in 1803. A few blocks westward along the river is the Merchandise Mart, world’s largest commercial building. The city also boasts the world’s largest hotel, the Conrad Hilton, which handles a large share of the 1 1/2 million conventioneers who flock to the city each year.


Scene 7

Marina City

View-Master Chicago (A551), Scene 7: Marina City

Marina City Towers


From the 16-page booklet:


In the same central area Chicago adds further to its reputation as the “city of superlatives” by means of the twin architectural cylinders shown here. These towers comprise the 60-story Marina city, world’s tallest apartment building, completed in 1964. This structure, which has become the most noted landmark in a city famed for its architectural innovations, was designed by Bertrand Goldberg, a native son.

His creation is in the tradition dating back to such world-renowned architects as Louis Henri Sullivan and his pupil Frank Lloyd Wright, and, later, Le Corbusier, Gropius, and Mies van der Rohe, all of whom have left their mark on the city. The towers contain 896 wedge-shaped apartments.


Scene 15

Buckingham Fountain

View-Master Chicago (A551), Scene 15: Buckingham Fountain

Buckingham Fountain, Grant Park


From the 16-page booklet:


Focal point of Grant Park on the lakefront is Buckingham Memorial Fountain, shown here ablaze in its 45-million-candle-power battery of lights.

The fountain shoots 15,500 gallons of water a minute from 134 jets, and its central column rises 100 feet above the top dome. Its main pool, which is 300 feet in diameter, contains four pairs of seahorses dedicated to the four states bordering Lake Michigan.


Scene 21

Chicago Campus, University of Illinois

View-Master Chicago (A551), Scene 21: Chicago Campus, University of Illinois

Chicago “Circle” Campus, University of Illinois


From the 16-page booklet:


At Chicago Circle, just south of where the Eisenhower Expressway plunges beneath the Post Office Building, is one of the nation’s newest—and architecturally most startling—university campuses. It is the Chicago campus of the University of Illinois, completed and opened in February, 1965. This unique 106-acre educational institution is distinguished by the open-air deck shown here, featuring pillbox-like concrete hummocks used as outdoor classrooms or for student gatherings. Not shown is the geometrically imaginative high-rise administration building that dominates this university city within a city. This branch of the state university is not to be confused with the University of Chicago, near the lakefront farther south.


dth1971 said...

Hope you add more old school Chicago scenes from the Chicago View Master packet!

KevinKillion said...

I have in my hand a View-Master packet labelled "Chicago" and "Packet No. A551". However, the copyright date is 1975, and most of the pictures on the discs are different! It appears that the picture of O'Hare which you show as slide 1 (C5 on my set) is the same. But that's it. For example, you show slide 7 as Marina City at night, my set has B5 with a shot of Marina City in the daytime.

What is EXTREMELY cool is that this old set has slide C2 which is a 3D view of the entrance to the old Piper's Alley! It's rare, ironically, to find good shots of that, much less in 3D! I found your site while searching for perhaps that picture C2.

Kevin Killion