"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”)

Carthalia

Carthalia

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    

Baseball: 1907 Joe Tinker (hof); Chicago Cubs; Dietsche Pc Series; Pc765-2 Illinois Il Chicago Wrigley Field Cubs Park Postcard Old Vintage Card View PostIl Illinois Chicago Edison Park Bungalow House Home Scene Postcard RppcEarly Chicago & Alton Railroad Cars Slater Mill And Elevator Co Slater Missouri C.1910 Rppc By Rudolph Of The Policlinic Hospital In Chicago, IllinoisPostcard Atq Rppc - Chicago Milwaukee St Paul Rr Depot - Kingston Illinois 1910Rppc Postcard Edgewood N Of 14th Street Chicago Heights Illinois IlSuper Old Vintage Postcard Of An Early 1900's Hardware Delivery Truck - ChicagoVintage Post Card, Chicago Great Western Depot, Mcintire, IowaEastland Chicago River Il Brown And Tan Paint Scheme Used One Shipping SeasonVintage Chicago Bell Telephone Building Unused1950 Postcard Wrigley Field Home Of The Chicago Cubs Baseball TeamGirl & Boston Terrier Dog Rppc Antique Real Photo Postcard Chicago Heights IlChicago, Illinois, 1949 Balmoral Avenue, 1909 Rppc PostcardHinsdale, Chicago, Il: Rppc: 1912: View Of Club House At Hinsdale Golf ClubChicago Il Illinois Along The Beach Rogers Park Real Photo Postcard RppcBowl-aire Bowling At Its Best 1531 Halsted St Chicago Heights Il 12 Ideal AlleysRppc The "ripmores" Chicago's 135 Lb Champions 1908 Football Team PostcardChicago Illinois Monadnock Building C1910 Burnham And Root, ArchitectGarfield Goose Postcard Wgn-tv Chicago. Signed By Frazier Thomas, Show Host.1905 Tinted Postcard " A General Night Scene " W/ Rides Riverview Park ChicagoVintage Postcard Gill's Lodge West Dennis Cape Cod MassVintage Postcard - Chicago & North Western Depot In West Chicago, Ill.Il Illinois Postcard Lot Of 8 Chicago Many Undivided Early 1900s Buildings SwimChicago Illinois Double Decker Motor Bus Vintage PostcardDr Jim's Stamps Us Advertising Postal Card Stormco Rollerskates Chicago 1947B&w Postcard-1934-chicago Il World's Fair-racer Barney Oldfield-plymouth Ad-vfSepia Official Postcard-1933-chicago Il World's Fair-dinosaurus Brontosaurus-vfIllinois Il Chicago La Town Caf9 Postcards The Ship Eastland Disaster Chicago River 1915 Boat Tragedy Chicago, Il ~ 113th St. East Of Prarie Ave ~ Real Photo Post Card ~ Used 1924United Airlines Dc-6 At Chicago Il O'hare Airport Postcard "world's Largest" Vintage Rpc--the Building Of Boys Gym--mckinley Park--chicagoNational Recording Safe In Bessemer Steel Chicago Il. 1906 Vintage Postcard - Chicago & North Western Swing Bridge At Clinton, IowaAmes 1963 C&nw Chicago North Western Train Depot Iowa Ia Rppc PostcardElmhurst, Chicago, Il: Rppc: 1910: View Of Cottage Hill AvenueVintage Bingham Copper Mine Copper Ore Bag Postcard By Genuine Curteich ChicagoComiskey Park, Chicago White Sox Il 1952 Posrtcards - Japan Green Tea 1933 Chicago Expo Original Envelope Cattle Pens Runways Union Stockyards Chicago Illinois PostcardUnion Hammon Stockyards Chicago Old PostcardChicago Illinois Marshall Field Department Store C1905 Randolph And State StreetBird's Eye View Of Downtown Chicago PostcardRadio Station Postcard - Wls - ChicagoChicago Illinois Masonic Temple C1905 Burnham And Root, Architect1930 Art Deco Real Photo Postcard Chicago Taken From Grant Park Pittsfield Bld Hotel La Salle Chicago Illinois 1913 Vintage Postcard Early 1900s Travel Life1933 Chicago Worlds Fair Postcard No 120 " Aerial Looking Southeast " 1933 Chicago Worlds Fair Postcard Wf 28 Market Place Of Belgian Village Dancers1943 Art Deco Postcard " Michigan Ave, North From River By Night " Chicago Il 1911 Postcard " Mrs Palmer Potters Residence " Lake Shore Drive, Chicago 1933 Chicago Worlds Fair Postcard " Otis Elevator Exhibit " Skyride Highest Fair1917 Postacrd " Recreation End, Municipal Pier " Chicago Chicago Illinois Railway Exchange Building C1905 D.h. Burnham & Co. ArchitectChicago, Il - A Yacht Race On Lake Michigan 1910Illinois Il Chicago Cottage Grove Avenue Trianon Ballroom Postcard Old VintageIllinois Il Chicago State Street Postcard Old Vintage Card View Standard Post PcIllinois Il Chicago Va Research Hospital Veterans Administration Postcard Old PcIllinois Il Chicago World's Fair Hall Of Science Airplane View Postcard Old View