Infographics of Old Chicago from Dean Cornwell

“This Is Chicago": Churches, taverns, foot sizes, gallons of coffee, and more—the Windy City as it was in 1914, at the dawn of the infographic era.

This week I’ve been working on a little freelance assignment, an infographic for a national magazine. They’re all the rage these days in our data-driven industry, thanks to pioneers like Edward Tufte; the Tribune Company has an excellent News Apps team that’s produced some outstanding interactive ones. So I was amused to stumble across a Tribune infographic and data-factoid article from 1914, a portrait of Chicago in numbers. The illustrations are by Dean Cornwell; you probably haven’t heard of him, but I’m almost certain you’ll recognize his Pennsylvania Railroad “Spirit of 1943” campaign. The “Dean of Illustrators” would have been about 22 when he did this—I’ve adapted it from a huge spread—and either a student or a recent graduate of the Art Institute.

Chicago Tribune infographic Chicago arrests infographic Chicago height infographic

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2 years ago
Posted by Sky Full of Bacon

It's worth noting that the (not 100% reliable) Herbert Asbury estimates the number of prostitutes in the Levee in the late 19th century at around 30,000, apparently making that the single largest profession in town. Maybe hog-butcher to the world doesn't mean what we thought.

2 years ago
Posted by betty

Sky Full of Bacon -- those numbers don't appear to represent the number of individuals with a given profession in the City, but rather the number of each profession arrested that year. I would assume that when prostitutes were arrested, they were listed as either "no occupation" or maybe "housekeeper."

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