"Late one night, when we were all in bed,
Old Mother Leary left a lantern in the shed,
And when the cow kicked it over, she winked her eye and said,
'There'll be a HOT time on the old town tonight.'"
-from a popular children’s song

The legend of the much-maligned Mrs. O’Leary and the start of The Great Chicago Fire of Oct. 8, 1871 is so widespread that many people take the unsubstantiated rumor as fact. It’s not surprising that the subject of the devastating blaze and fire-fighting made its way onto many vintage postcards.

Fortunately, Chicago was able to rebuild itself in time to host the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition, beating out New York City, St. Louis, and Washington, D.C. The event honored the 400th anniversary of Christopher Columbus’ landing in America. Forty years later, the city put on the 1933 Chicago World’s Fair, focusing on scientific achievements, like the development of electric power.

Chicago is also home to major sports teams, including two major-league baseball teams, the White Sox and the Cubs. Their famous ballparks Comiskey Park and Wrigley Field were erected in 1910 and 1914, respectively.

The manufacturing and transportation hub of the U.S. for over a century, Chicago is full of iconic places and storied characters like 21-year Mayor Richard Joseph Daley and Prohibition-era mob boss Al Capone. The 110-story Sears Tower, built in 1974 and now known as the Willis Tower, was once the tallest building in the world—it remains the tallest building in the United States.

Best of the Web (“Hall of Fame”)



Andreas Praefcke's postcard collection of theatres and concert halls worldwide. Showcases 3700 images of over 1810 … [read review or visit site]

Tall Tale Postcards

Tall Tale Postcards

Don't let this one get away from you. This 'unbelievable' collection, from the Wisconsin Historical Society, featur… [read review or visit site]

Clubs & Associations

Other Great Reference Sites

Most watched eBay auctions    

Field Museum Of Natural History Chicago 77 Picture Postcards Not Postmarked South Haven Michigan Steamship Advertising In Chicago Rppc Real Photo Postcard1913 Picture Post Card, West Side Baseball Park, Chicago, Il. National League1940s Postcard Michigan Ave Showing Wacker Dr By Night Chicago IlEastland Disaster, Chicago Il, 99 Years Ago July 24th!, Collection Of 7 UnpostedEast Chicago, In - Chicago Av - Businesses - Ca 1910 - Rppc - Postcard - IndianaC. 1915 Dodge Trucks - Old Reliable Chicago Jackson Blvd Real Photo RppcVintage Postcard Roseland Chicago Illinois ~ Greetings From Roseland Chicago IllVintage Postcard Roseland Chicago Illinois ~ Michigan Avenue And 111th StChicago, Il: Rppc: 1910: View Of Austin Swedish Baptist ChurchChicago Illinois Madison Street Buildings Signs Cars Trolleys Pm 1932 PostcardThe Hotel Belmont (sheridan & New Outer Drive) Belmont Harbor Chicago Postcard Rppc Chicago Il Street Scene Harvard Ave S From 74th St Hamilton Park PostcardChicago Rppc Faragut Ave Ravenswood Pl Michigan Av Mushkin Clothing ParadeOak Park, Chicago, Il: Rppc: 1907: First Presbyterian ChurchQ193 (2)neg/rp 1950s Frank Lloyd Wright Design Home Chicago IlPostcard Of Main Waiting Room In Union Station Chicago H-3428 (unused)3 Vintage Postcards, Chicago Restaurant Clubs Palmer House, Eitel Old Heidelberg2 Vintage Postcards, Chicago Subway Cut-away, Lake Shore Club, 1950sChicago, Il - Galley Inside German Submarine U-505, Museum Of Science & Industry1920s Postcard Wrigley Building South & New North Section By Night Chicago IlAerial View Chicago World's Fair City Real Photo Postcard RppcChicago Il - Vintage Postcard Lot Of 4 Hotel Lasalle, Lakeshore Drive, +Illinois Il Chicago La Salle Hotel Postcard Old Vintage Card View Standard PostIllinois Il Chicago Paul Bunyan Postcard Old Vintage Card View Standard SouvenirIllinois Il Chicago Postcard Old Vintage Card View Standard Souvenir Postal PostIllinois Il Chicago Retail Store Marshall Field & Co Postcard Old Vintage CardIllinois Il Chicago Halsted Street Lift Bridge Postcard Old Vintage Card View PcIllinois Il Chicago Wrigley Building Postcard Old Vintage Card View Standard PcIllinois Il Chicago Marina City Postcard Old Vintage Card View Standard SouvenirIllinois Il Chicago Water Tower Palmolive Tribune Postcard Old Vintage Card ViewIllinois Il Chicago Michigan Avenue Tribune Tower Sheraton Palmolive Postcard PcIllinois Il Chicago Art Institute Lions Postcard Old Vintage Card View Standard Chicago~museum Of Science And Industry~lobby~hall Of Flags~postcard~f24Il Illinois Pontiac North Chicago St & High School Postcard Ca 1907Illinois Il Chicago Lagoon Postcard Old Vintage Card View Standard Souvenir PostBalaban And Katz Theatre, Movie Palace, Chicago Il, Vintage Illinois PostcardWheaton, Chicago, Il: Rppc: 1911: Gary Memorial Methodist ChurchUpper Michigan Avenue North From The Bridge, Chicago, Illinois 1930s PostcardQ192 (2)neg/rp 1959 Frank Lloyd Wright Design Home 1365 N. Astor St Chicago Il1933 Postcard Lasalle St Bldg & Foreman St Bank Bldg Chicago Worlds Fair UnusedIl Illinois Chicago John G. Shedd Aquarium Queen Triggerfish Chrome PostcardPostcard Wacker Dr Chicago River Skyscrapers Union News Company Vintage CardPostcard Oak Street Beach Lake Shore Michigan Ave Chicago Drake Hotel PalmolivePostcard Of Grand Stairway In Union Station Chicago H-3402 (unused)1933 Chicago World's Fair - General Motors BuildingVintage Postcard Chicago, Illinois Lake Shore Drive N From Drake Hotel 1932Marine Room Ymca Hotel S. Wabash Ave. Chicago Il Illinois Circa 1930s-1940sVintage Post Card Chicago, Milwaukee St. Paul Railway Bridge Kilbourn, WiHotel Sherman Chicago Illinois Il Vintage Postcard Art Deco DesignChicago Il - Vintage Postcard Lot Of 4,parks, Grant, Lincoln, Humboldt, JacksonChicago Il - Vintage Postcard Lot Of 4 Drake Hotel, Navy Pier, County Building +Vintage Postard Illinois Chicago Service Men Bell Telephone Co Gardiner HospitalIllinois Il Chicago Women's Temple Lasalle Monroe Street Postcard Old Vintage PcChicago, Il - Bird's Eye View Of Downtown Area 1945Illinois Il Chicago Wrigley Building Night Postcard Old Vintage Card View PostIllinois Il Chicago Water Tower Tribune Sheraton Palmolive Postcard Old Vintage Illinois Il Chicago Famed Water Tower Postcard Old Vintage Card View Standard Pc1959 Chicago~the Palmer House~trader Vic~postcard~f72Illinois Il Chicago Zoo Park Giant Panda Brookfield Postcard Old Vintage Card Pc